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Stock Upgrades: Tiffany Set to Sparkle


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

Keeping up with the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) Joneses? Yesterday, the clan couldn't hold a candle to a Smith. The blue chip index ended off in anemic trading even as firearms firm Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) skyrocketed 16.44% on impressive earnings and a broker boost. (For those who prefer breakfasting at Tiffany's (NYSE:TIF) to waking up with gunpowder and eggs, help, as we shall soon see, is at hand.) Cigarette stocks Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) and Lorillard (NYSE:LO), which lost a respective 3.47% and 3.22%, were the S&P 500's (INDEXSP:.INX) two poorest performers on Ash Wednesday. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), up 4.03%, posted the index's best showing. Thus, mercifully for the rest of us, Mark Zuckerberg can easily pay to keep his nemesii the Winklevii stuck up in outer space for many more years yet. Louisville's own Finlandia vodka owner Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.B) gained 3.69% to hit a historic high after announcing impressive earnings, which will be some consolation for our Russian comrades. Elsewhere in Kentucky, another antique Corvette emerged from the same sinkhole in which parent General Motors (NYSE:GM) evidently now finds its reputation. It must, however, seem as if it is still Christmas for the car company, which rose 1.60% even as its new CEO Mary Barra confronts her first crisis at the helm. "Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." Not so sure about that. The House was disgracefully animated yesterday, and this morning Logitech (NASDAQ:LOGI), the world's largest maker of computer mice, is surging some 6.09% as we speak after releasing robust results.

Today in economics, factory orders for January are forecast to post an improvement from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, expect earnings announcements out of Costco (NASDAQ:COST), H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS).

Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.

Axiall (NYSE:AXLL): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Its price objective also increases, to $60 from $45.

Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB): BMO Capital Markets moves the equity to Outperform from Market Perform. The target price is also taken up considerably, to $422 from $286.

Bob Evans (NASDAQ:BOBE): Shares get a Buy from Hold at Miller Tabak. Increased earnings visibility is cited, and the objective is also increased by $8 to $58.

Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG): UBS raises the energy name to Buy from Neutral.

Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA): The stock, which rose 4.65% yesterday, is adding on another 2.91% as we speak after being boosted to Buy from Hold with a $16 target at Deutsche Bank.

NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS): JP Morgan lifts the limited partnership to Overweight from Neutral. Its price objective, previously $51, is now set at $60.

Shipping Stocks: Navios Maritime (NYSE:NM) and Star Bulk Carriers(NASDAQ:SBLK) each get Buy-from-Hold hoists at Stifel.

Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TEVA): Leerink takes TEVA to Outperform from Market Perform.

Tiffany: As alluded to earlier, the wedding ring king is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, which says catalysts include a new design team. Shares, having hit a historic high on Friday, are up 32.62% over the past 12 months.

Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM): The owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell is raised to Outperform from Neutral with an $87 objective at Robert W. Baird, which cites a projected rebound in its China business, among other favorable factors.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Ascena Doesn't Need a Spark to Be Barn Burner (MVPRO article)

Stock Downgrades: Spark Networks Loses That Loving Feeling (MVPRO article)
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