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Stock Upgrades: Party Time for Shoe Carnival


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Columbus Day served as reminder of a distant age when Europe launched mighty ships across the ocean. Its horizons considerably shrunken, yesterday the continent was reduced to launching its latest bailout fund. At least National Bank of Greece (NBG) gained 11.20% to top the entire NYSE ahead of Angela Merkel's trip to Athens today. With some 6,000 police officers employed during her six hour stay, the visit has been a boon for security-sector employment if nothing else.

Netflix (NFLX) rode an analyst upgrade to surge another 10.46%, although cynics will say we've seen this movie before and it never ends well. Its shares were taken to "Overweight" on Monday, which also saw a bull run on anti-obesity outfit Vivus Inc. (VVUS) as it jumped 10.19%. Robert De Niro, who piled on 60 pounds for his role in Raging Bull, could have used the product post-movie, but another actor currently has no need for it.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS) surged 7.50%, the industry evidently flush enough with cash that it can give big bucks to hacker fugitives and 26-year-olds dispensing life lessons. Lena Dunham's fellow Millennial Mark Zuckerberg fared less well, Facebook (FB) falling 2.44% on a ratings reduction.

A quiet start to the week in economics continues, with no top-tier data due, but Alcoa (AA) unofficially ushers what is expected to be a no better than mediocre third quarter earnings season when it reports after the close. Corporate results are also expected out of Chevron (CVX) and Yum Brands (YUM).

Allot Communications (ALLT): ALLT is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies on strong demand for the company's products.

Cardinal Health (CAH): CAH is upgraded to Overweight from Market Weight at ISI Group, whose target is $46.

Eli Lilly (LLY): Goldman Sachs lifts LLY to Neutral from Sell.

Interpublic Group (IPG): Impressed by both an attractive risk/reward profile and organic growth expectations, Citigroup gives the ad giant a Buy-from-Neutral boost. The target is also taken up by $3, to $14.

Nestlé (NSRGY): The giant confectionery company is now Buy from Hold at Société Générale.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

RadioShack (RSH): The troubled stock is up about 15% before the bell on an unusual 180 degree (Buy from Underperform) lift at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Shoe Carnival (NASDAQ:SCVL) Shares are upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee, citing improved sales productivity.

Trinity Industries (TRN): TRN is taken to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Avoid Apple Picking This Fall? and Stock Downgrades: Band-Aid Giant Johnson & Johnson Gets Big Cut.)
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