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Stock Upgrades: Pan American Silver Good as Gold

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Goldman Sachs (GS), which spent the summer of 2010 being compared to a "great vampire squid," gained 2.80% and Transocean (RIG), which also endured underwater distress in the Gulf of Mexico that year, similarly rose from the depths. It advanced 2.96% on a favorable court ruling in Brazil.

Speaking of Brazil, Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (GOL) jumped 9.58% and a soccer star graduate of DeVry (DV) University saw that stock climb 5.67% to top the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC). Fútbol fashionista David Beckham famously cost more than JPMorgan (JPM) spent buying Bear Stearns. Jamie Dimon was lauded for buying Bear on the cheap, but who's laughing now? Herbalife (HLF), sponsor of the sports star, added another 5.93% while the House of Morgan has just been hit with a 2008-era lawsuit. Investors may instead be better of betting the house on mortgage insurance outfit MGIC Investment (MTG), up 18.30%, or Nationstar Mortgage (NSM), which rose 5.15% to an all-time high.

No top-tier economic data due today but earnings announcements are expected out of Acuity Brands (AYI), Mosaic (MOS), Resources Connections (RECN), and Xyratex (XRTX).

Citigroup (C): C is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette, whose target is $44 price. Catalysts include an improving Basel III capital ratio.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): The Dow (^DJI) member is moved to Buy from Neutral with a higher $24 target at MKM Partner, which says its product order rate has stabilized and should improve.

CTRIP.com International (CTRP): Shares are upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Devon Energy (DVN): DVN is upgraded to Outperform at FBR Capital.

Kilroy Realty (KRC): Shares are upgraded to Hold from Sell at Cantor amid a more favorable valuation.

Kinross Gold (KGC): KGC gets upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Lennar (LEN): Citigroup lifts LEN to Neutral from Sell amid "above-average growth [and] margins."

Liberty Media (LMCA): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Citi.

Methanex (MEOH): Raymond James moves MEOH to Outperform from Market Perform.

Microchip (MCHP): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity.

Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS): The stock is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank on expectations its cash flow could rise in 2013 due to higher silver prices. The target is also taken up, to $26 from $22.

PNC Financial (PNC): PNC is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

XL Capital (XL): Shares are now Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs.

Zoltek (ZOLT): ZOLT is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Travelers Set to Head South? and New Stock Coverage: Hologic Makes Complete Cents.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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