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Stock Upgrades: American Electric Power Set to Surge?


Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) gained 2.37% to top the Dow Average (^DJI) after announcing it would write down, oh, $8 billion for a botched acquisition in 2008. Also in the "oops!" category, the New York Times (NYT) added 6.06% after shopping around its unit for $270 million. It paid $410 million for the property in 2005 and - much as the Gray Lady belatedly admitted after the moon landing proved it wrong and Isaac Newton right - the 'newspaper of record' likely now regrets the error. Today in economics, June wholesale inventories are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Aviva (AV), Brinker International (EAT), Commerzbank (CRZBY), Randgold Resources (GOLD), Kohl's Corp. (KSS), and Wendy's (WEN) are all due to report results.

Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX): The stock is moved to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

American Electric Power (AEP): The stock is boosted to to Buy from Hold at ISI Group after a favorable Ohio ruling. Its price target is $46.

Baker Hughes (BHI): BHI gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Société Générale.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): The Dow member is up ahead of the open after getting upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman.

Endologix (ELGX): Piper Jaffray juices ELGX to Overweight from Neutral.

Homebuilders: Beazer Homes (BZH), KB Home (KBH), and PulteGroup (PHM) are all upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan, which expects housing industry fundamentals to continue to improve.

Interpublic Group (IPG): The advertising giant gets increased to Buy from Neutral at Nomura, whose target is $13.

PPL Corp. (PPL): PPL is now Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Silicon Graphics (SGI): The small cap is upgraded to Outperform at FBN Securities.

StanCorp Financial(SFG): Shares are upgraded to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Warner Chilcott (WCRX): The stock is now Buy from Hold at Needham, whose target is $20.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Analyst Picks Up Apple and Stock Downgrades: Priceline Flatlines After Falling Off Cliff.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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