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Stock Upgrades: Harley Living High on the Hog

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Dean Foods (DF), America's top dairy producer, gained 12.77% to top the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) by a mile. If that's not enough to make Justin Bieber sick, then the 7.47% implosion in his teeth-straightening sponsor Align Technology (ALGN) ought to do the trick. Homebuilder PulteGroup (PHM) gained 5.31% to a fresh 52-week peak amid fresh signs of life in the real estate market; David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, is fully entitled to crow. Bank of America (BAC), bedeviled by large litigation costs at its Merrill Lynch unit, fell after announcing earnings but Alcoa (AA), whose Stan O'Neal almost brought Mother Merrill to bankruptcy, enjoyed a 2.68% advance to best all blue chips. Alas, in Stan Laurel's immortal catchphrase, it was "another fine mess" for Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), downgraded today after yesterday's fall of 4.42%, and Stanley Furniture (STLY), which nosedived 9.24%. This morning in economics, September Leading Indicators and October's Philadelphia Fed Index are each expected to show improvement at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

It's another frenetic day for third quarter earnings, with Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Nokia (NOK), Travelers (TRV), and Verizon (VZ) among a battery of big names due to report results.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO): Shares are increased to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo, which thinks new management will accelerate sales growth.

ConocoPhillips (COP): The stock is now Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, whose target is $55.

Duke Energy (DUK): Amid an attractive valuation, Citigroup raises its rating to Buy from Neutral and also takes its target up by $3 to $72.

Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG): The motorcycle maker gets moved to Buy from Neutral at Goldman, which is encouraged by a re acceleration in registrations. The price objective is $54.

Lindsay Corp. (LNN): LNN is lifted to Outperform from Market Perform by William Blair.

SeaDrill (SDRL): Shares are taken to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.

ThyssenKrupp (TYEKF): The German firm is seeing its shares trade higher in Europe this morning on a Neutral-from-Underperform boost at BNP Paribas.

Tibco Software (TIBX): TIBX shares are taken to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie amid high hopes for long-term secular growth. The target is $33.

US Bancorp (USB): Susquehanna boosts USB to Positive from Neutral.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: St. Jude Medical Needs a Miracle and New Stock Coverage: Monro Muffler Can't Catch a Break.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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