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Stock Upgrades: Marathon Oil in for the Long Haul


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL President Obama, who came to office decrying "fat cats," attended a $40,000-per-plate fundraiser. Far healthier for the Aloha State native to have simply gone long shares of Maui Land Pineapple (MLP), up some 3.31%. Or Energizer (ENR), after the Hawaiian Tropic maker jumped 10.75%.

Meanwhile it was a tough day for Mitt but, as someone who did so much to send transatlantic relations up in smoke earlier this summer, he can console himself with the 2.64% increase enjoyed by British American Tobacco (BTI). Today in economics, August existing home sales are announced at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

In earnings action, Adobe Systems (ADBE), Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), AutoZone (AZO), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Clarcor (CLC), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL), General Mills (GIS), Herman Miller (MLHR), and Steelcase (SCS) are all due to report results.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN): Shares get a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

AstraZeneca (AZN): AZN is now Neutral from Underperform by BNP Paribas.

Corning (GLW) The stock is up ahead of the open after getting a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Goldman Sachs.

Fresh Produce: Chiquita Brands (CQB) and Fresh Del Monte (FDP) are both hoisted to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital.

Golar LNG Partners (GMLP): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Marathon Oil (MRO): MRO is moved to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Monsanto (MON): Goldman adds the stock to its list of Conviction Buys.

Progressive (PGR): Shares are upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Evercore.

St. Jude Medical (STJ): The medical device maker gets moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells amid a stabilizing US ICD market and reduced pipeline expectations. The target is also taken up, to $49.

Vera Bradley (VRA): Shares are upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Webster Financial (WBS): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Strong Buy from Outperform.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Bed Bath & Beyond Takes a Beating and New Stock Coverage: Sherwin-Williams Set to Paint Town Red.)
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