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Stock Upgrades: McGraw-Hill Scales Fresh Peaks


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL We mourned the loss of Nora Ephron and the incomparable wit of a woman who once said, "You can never have too much butter - that is my belief." I'll have what she's having, especially after Smart Balance (SMBL) took its 12-month increase to 82.08% as creamy calories make a comeback. When Harry Winston (HWD) Met Sallie Mae (SLM) was sage advice, the stocks rising a respective 1.89% and 3.37%.

Alas Nordstrom (JWN) was indeed Sleepless in Seattle, slipping 1.48% on an analyst downgrade. Omeros Corporation (OMER), also based in Emerald City, tumbled 20.00% to prop up the Nasdaq (^IXIC).

Today's earnings announcements are expected to include American Greetings (AM), Family Dollar (FDO), Nike (NKE), Research In Motion (RIMM), and Smith & Wesson (SWHC).

Anadarko Petroleum (APC): APC is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein.

Cree Inc (CREE): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity.

Digital River (DRIV): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the stock an unusual 180 degrees, to Buy from Underperform.

General Growth Properties (GGP): GGP gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

McGraw-Hill (MHP): The Standard & Poor's owner is upgraded to Buy from Hold at The Benchmark Company, whose target is $53. Improved results in the second half are expected.

Microsemi (MSCC): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Neustar (NSR): NSR is now Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Oil Services: Ensco (ESV) and Halliburton (HAL) are each upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein.

Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX): The small cap is surging 7.7% before the bell on an upgrade to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Spectra Energy (SE): SE is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Coach Stuck in Neutral and Stock Downgrades: Storm Clouds Ahead for Weatherford.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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