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Stock Upgrades: Ample Cash in eBay's Attic


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL VF Corp (VFC), whose JanSport backpacks were worn by every self-respecting Occupier on Wall Street, surged 7.48%, sending other retail names up also. Not least of all Guess (GES), with the denim firm founded in 1981 rising 4.31%. (That is surely better value for the money than the piece of toast from the same year which just sold for hundreds of dollars at auction.)

US 30-year mortgages dropped for a fifth straight week, to yet another record low of 3.53%. At that rate even hoodie-wearing college dropouts can afford them. Not that they are doing much for the real estate market; June existing-home sales just fell 5.4%. Karl Malden once advised us never to leave home without American Express (AXP) but housing is clearly not what it was and an analyst downgrade sent it slumping 3.53%.

No top-tier economic data due today but the first full week of Q2 earnings season concludes with American Electric Power (AEP), Baker Hughes (BHI), General Electric (GE), Ingersoll-Rand (IR), SunTrust (STI), and Xerox (XRX) expected to report results.

Akzo Nobel (AKZOY): Shares are upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

Cablevision (CVC): CVC is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie due to improving industry pricing power.

eBay Inc (EBAY): Shares, at a six-year high, are upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Georgia Gulf (GGC): GGC gets upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan, which takes its target up to $40 from $28.

Hess Corp (HES): The oil outfit gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Noble Corp (NE): NE is now Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital.

Nokia (NOK): Société Générale gives the shares a Hold-from-Sell hoist.

Nucor (NUE): NUE is now Sector Perform from Underperform at CIBC World Markets.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX): Leerink Swann lifts the stock to Outperform from Market Perform, sending shares up before the opening bell.

Stanley Black & Decker (SWK): Citing cost savings initiatives, KeyBanc Capital boosts the company to Buy from Hold. Its price objective is $80.

Steel Dynamics (STLD): Shares are upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

SunCoke Energy (SXC): The stock is boosted to Buy from Hold by Brean Murray.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Sluggish Start for Finish Line and Stock Downgrades: Chipotle Mexican Gets Grilled.)

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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