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Stock Upgrades: Sprint Strikes Olympic Gold


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On a day farm equipment stocks enjoyed strong showings, Moody's (MCO), whose multitude of after-the-fact sovereign debt downgrades demonstrate a singular expertise in slamming shut the barn door only after the horse has bolted, jumped 11.21%.

Alas there was no such fun for FarmVille owner Zynga (ZNGA). Having incurred a herd of analyst downgrades, it lost 37.48% to a new low. Close cousin Facebook (FB) imploded 8.50%; clearly the CEO of Forrester Research (FORR) was on the money in saying, "I think [it] is toast." (Although such soothsaying did a fat lot of good for Forrester, which itself tumbled 12.37%.) Toast, with beans, is big in Britain, which today hosts its first Olympics since 1948.

Today in economics, we get the University of Michigan's final figure for July consumer confidence at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. Another frenzied week for Q2 earnings announcements comes to a close with Allied Irish Banks (AIBYY), Barclays (BCS), Chevron (CVX), Merck (MRK), NTT Docomo (DCM), Renault (RNSDF), and Total (TOT) all expected to report results.

AmerisourceBergen (ABC): ABC is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which takes its target to $46 from $42.

Amgen (AMGN): Shares are upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Briggs & Stratton (BGG): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.

Entertainment Properties (EPR): EPR is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Montgomery Scott.

Expedia (EXPE): Shares are upgraded to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Ixia (XXIA): The stock is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Informatica (INFA): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho.

Kimberly-Clark (KMB): KMB is upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at Crédit Agricole.

Meru Networks (MERU): MERU is upgraded to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity.

MetroPCS (PCS): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Sprint (S): The stock, at its highest in almost a year, is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Clouds in Coffee at Starbucks and New Stock Coverage: Pan American Silver Only Good Enough for Bronze.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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