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Stock Upgrades: Bank of America Back in Business?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL As stocks nosedive, bonds are up over 7% in a month, with the 10-year yield at its lowest level since records began in the early 1800s. That recent farewell to fixed income now looks a little premature. Elsewhere the Greeks declared themselves the hardest working people in Europe. Meanwhile Prince Philip, the British Queen's Greek-born husband, takes today and tomorrow off for a national holiday in England. Her Majesty will be troubled by last week's 20.53% tumble in loose-leaf specialist Teavana Holdings (TEA). Not to mention a 7.2% slide in Align Technology (ALGN), whose teeth-straightening technology is much loved by the monarchy. Today in economics, April factory orders are expected to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, American Superconductor (AMSC), Dollar General (DG), Gold Reserve (GRZ), Hooker Furniture (HOFT), Shuffle Master (SHFL), and Zuoan Fashion (ZA) are all due to report results.

Bank of America (BAC): The blue chip gets an Overweight-from-Equal Weight boost with Evercore Partners.

Boeing (BA): The stock, also in the Dow, is moved to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus on account of both valuation and expected strength in the aerospace cycle. Its price objective is $80.

Buckeye Technologies (BKI): BKI is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Healthsouth (HLS): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

KAR Auction Services (KAR): KAR gets raised to Outperform from Perform with a $21 target price at Robert W. Baird, which cites its deep network of buyers and sellers, property zoned for salvage, and valuable internet assets.

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD): Shares are upgraded to Hold from Sell at Société Général.

Smart Balance (SMBL): The stock is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

SunTrust Banks (STI): STI is upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore.

Synta Pharmaceuticals (SNTA): Shares are surging before the bell on an upgrade to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: WageWorks Hits Pay Dirt and Stock Downgrades: No Miracle on 34th Street for Macy's.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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