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Stock Upgrades: Say Hello to Cisco


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Recently slumping steel stocks caught a bounce, including a 7.38% increase in ArcelorMittal (MT). The company is owned by Europe's richest man who, in a telling comment on the 21st century economy, is of course Indian. Bowling behemoth Brunswick (BC) added 5.51% as Russia's President Putin showed a sudden interest in the game after a contentious Mexican meeting with President Obama. Decliners on an otherwise upbeat day included JC Penney (JCP). It imploded an NYSE-lagging 8.55% and stands at a two year low. The company did away with sales earlier this year only to now be at the mercy of bargain hunting investors. Walgreens (WAG) - or Walgreen; you can leave off the "s" for slumping - fell 5.85% after announcing a $6.7 billion acquisition.

The Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day policy meeting today at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, with Ben Bernanke's press conference scheduled to follow at 2:15 p.m. In earnings action, Apogee Enterprises (APOG), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Crown Crafts (CRWS), Hennes & Mauritz (HNNMY), Micron Technology (MU), Red Hat (RHT), and Steelcase (SCS) are all due to report results.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): The Dow member is trading up before the bell on an upgrade to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital.

Applied Materials (AMAT): AMAT is upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.

Beam Inc. (BEAM): The spirits maker is upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $74 target at Argus, which says it could conceivably be an attractive takeover candidate.

Gevo Inc. (GEVO): GEVO gets upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Cowen.

Huntington Ingalls (HII): Goldman gives the aerospace outfit a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.

Mitel Networks (MITL): The small cap is hoisted to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

NV Energy (NVE): NVE is now Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Oil stocks: Chinese giant CNOOC Limited (CEO) gets upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman, which gives Marathon Petroleum (MPC) an upgrade to Buy from Neutral.

Pennant Investment (PNNT): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Perform at FBR Capital, whose objective is $11.

Progessive Waste (BIN): Shares are upgraded to Top Pick from Outperform at RBC Capital.

Standard Motor (SMP): The company is taken to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital.

Tesoro (TSO): TSO is now Neutral from Sell at Goldman.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: LivePerson Looks Like Dead Money and New Stock Coverage: Stay in School Stocks?)
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