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Stock Upgrades: Nike Set to Regain Spring in its Step


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On what was otherwise a difficult day for JPMorgan's (JPM) Jamie Dimon, as a Greek American he could at least take pride in a 4.65% surge in shares of Athens' own Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (CCH), investors snapping up the Molotov cocktail company ahead of Sunday's election. Butter mountains are a longstanding symbol of Europe's economic futility - if only the continent had instead invested in Smart Balance (SMBL) spread, which gained 2.68% to a fresh peak. Dell Inc (DELL), famous for hiring stoner dudes, advanced 2.55% to top of the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) but no such luck for Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG), whose head wants to move into the marijuana market. It slid 6.60% and, adding insult to injury, on the very day Weeds was cancelled.

Today's earnings announcements are expected to include Kroger (KR), Lakeland Industries (LAKE), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), School Specialty (SCHS), Smithfield Foods (SFD), and Winnebago Industries (WGO).

Allegheny Technologies (ATI): ATI is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Best Buy (BBY): The stock gets a Neutral-from-Sell boost at Citigroup.

Brinker International (EAT): The parent of Chili's Grill gets upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $37 target at Argus, which cites share buybacks, improved profitability, and strong free cash flow.

China Telecom (CHA): Citing an attractive valuation, Cantor Fitzgerald hoists the firm to Hold from Sell.

Diageo (DEO): Nomura, which may itself need a drink getting downgraded today, takes the maker of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, and Guinness to Buy from Neutral.

Moog Inc (MOG-A): Shares are moved to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Nike (NKE): After yesterday's steep slide NKE is now Hold from Sell at McAdams Wright Ragen, which remains positive on the longer-term prospects for the stock.

Pandora Media (P): P is upgraded to Overweight from Market Perform at Albert Fried.

Progressive Waste (BIN): Shares are upgraded to Action List Buy from Buy at TD Securities.

Regions Financial (RF): Goldman Sachs raises its recommendation to Buy from Neutral.

Zillow (Z): Shares are higher ahead of the open after getting upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Ignite Restaurant on Fire and Stock Downgrades: Adobe About to Flash Crash?)
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