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Stock Upgrades: Finish Line Starts the Morning Off Right


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Target (TGT) rose 1.77%, the highest level in half a decade for the firm famous for its bull's-eye logo. Urban Outfitters (URBN), for whom holiday happiness is a warm gun, ended up 3.03% near a new high. Firearms firm Smith & Wesson (SWHC) fared less well, falling 11.89% on a ratings reduction. In other point-and-shoot news, photo icon Getty Images commanded a $3.3 billion fee from private equity. Deere (DE) slid 6.28%, shares going for a song after the world's largest farm equipment maker announced not enough of its customers were able to boast "I've got a brand new combine harvester."

This morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, analysts expect August's Philadelphia Fed Index to improve over the previous month's pace. A retail-heavy session in corporate earnings includes announcements out of Aeropostale (ARO), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Gap Inc(GPS), Ross Stores (ROST), Sears (SHLD), and Wal-Mart (WMT).

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): The teen clothing company, downgraded elsewhere this morning, fares better with Wedbush, which raises its recommendation to Outperform from Neutral. So far the upgrade appears to be holding more sway, with shares up ahead of the opening bell.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities amid optimism over its next generation of HCV treatments. The target is $10.

Allete (ALE): Ladenburg lifts the name to Buy from Neutral.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): The Dow (^DJI) member is moved to Buy from Neutral at Davenport after last night's strong earnings.

Finish Line (FINL): Shares are added to the Top Picks Live list at Citigroup.

Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI): JPMorgan moves the company to Overweight from Neutral on an attractive valuation among other factors.

NorthWestern Corp (NWE): The utility outfit gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Don't Charge Into American Express and Stock Downgrades: Another Bad Day at the Office for Staples.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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