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Stock Upgrades: Chipotle Mexican Grill Flavor of the Month for Cinco de Mayo

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

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Just in time for today's Hallmark holidayChipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) gets a broker boost. This notoriously volatile stock has managed to return a tidy 37.40% over the past 12 months, having hit an historic high on March 21. Chipotle recently revealed a series of price hikes for its core offerings.
 
Talk about a May-December romance. Investors renewed their infatuation with equities as the year entered its fifth month, with Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) reaching a record after being inspired by a quartet of grizzled veterans. The love was literal for 83-year-old News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) owner Rupert Murdoch, who bought a bodice ripper for big bucks. (Expect 50 Shades of Grey Hair to be published promptly.) Meanwhile, Viacom's (NASDAQ:VIAB) Sumner Redstone, 90 years young, also splashed some serious cash across the Atlantic. This as Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.B) Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger -- oddly also aged a respective 83 and 90 -- held court in Omaha. Lexington native George Clooney, that incurable romantic, didn't wait for this weekend's run for the roses to sweep an English rose off her feet in his old Kentucky home. He will need to get used to the fact that what we call "math" the Brits know as "maths." Either way, financial firms on each side of the pond are lousy at it. The United Kingdom's Co-op Group is a banking behemoth, but its grocery arm clearly has terrible trouble with arithmetic. As, indeed, does Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), whose sums were off by several billion bucks.
 
Today in economics, April's Institute for Supply Management services index is expected to inch up at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the earnings front, American International Group (NYSE:AIG), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Sysco Corp (NYSE:SYY), and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) are all due to release results.
 
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group that encompasses not only our aforementioned Chipotle Mexican Grill but also a tech titan that scores its second upgrade in two trading sessions.

Ariad Pharmceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA): Jefferies juices its recommendation to Buy from Hold.
 
BB&T Corp (NYSE:BBT): BBT gets an Outperform-from-Neutral boost at Credit Suisse. The price target is also taken up, to $46.50 from $43.
 
Chipotle Mexican Grill: Raymond James raises today's headline stock to Outperform from Market Perform.
 
Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ:CBRL): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Underperform, again at Raymond James.
 
Hi-Crush Partners (NYSE:HCLP): RBC Capital lifts the limited partnership to Outperform from Perform. Its price objective, previously $41, also increases by $8 amid an improving industry environment.
 
Informatica (NASDAQ:INFA): Shares are now Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
 
Lennox International (NYSE:LII): JP Morgan increases the equity to Overweight from Neutral.
 
L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL): LLL is also lifted to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan, which takes its target price to $135 from $124.
 
Och-Ziff Capital (NYSE:OZM): Keefe Bruyette boosts OZM to Outperform from Perform.
 
Oracle (NYSE:ORCL): Friday's favorite Oracle is this morning moved to Outperform from Perform by Sanford Bernstein.
 
PerkinElmer (NYSE:PKI): Janney juices its rating to Buy from Neutral.
 
Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM): Shares are hoisted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
 
Santander Consumer USA (NYSE:SC): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts its fellow financial firm to Buy from Neutral.
 
Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS): The Dow member is taken to Buy from Hold at Topeka.
 
Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ): The retailer gets raised to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. Favorable factors include cost cuts.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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