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Stock Upgrades: Dark Days Finally Over for First Solar?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The Fed's expressed desire to "provide additional accommodation as needed" was all Hyatt Hotels (H) needed to hear; it headed 3.49% higher. British American Tobacco (BTI) added 0.91% to an all-time best while BP Plc (BP), which did so much to send Anglo-American relations up in smoke, incurred a ratings reduction. Zynga (ZNGA) entered the dog days of August with a fall of 4.75% to another fresh low. Today in economics, June factory orders are expected to tick up slightly at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Adidas (ADDYY), BNP Paribas (BNPQY), Cigna (CI), Duke Energy (DUK), General Motors (GM), Kellogg (K), Sharp (SHCAY), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Zipcar (ZIP) are all due to report results.

First Solar (FSLR): Relief may be in sight for the single worst performer in the S&P 500 last year, down another 56% in 2012. It is raised to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which takes the target up by $5 to $30 from $25 They say it can increase its share of the utility-scale market relative to competitors.

Garmin (GRMN): The GPS company is higher ahead of the open on an upgrade to Outperform from Neutral with Wedbush.

Ignite Restaurant Group (IRG): IRG gets increased to Strong Buy from Outperform with a $21 price target at Raymond James.

LG Display (LPL): Encouraged by trough earnings and improved specialty LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) prospects, Macquarie moves the equity to Outperform from Neutral.

ManTech (MANT): Shares are upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform with Wells.

PacWest Bancorp (PACW): The stock is boosted to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee, whose target is $28.

Ralcorp (RAH): The packaged foods powerhouse, whose offerings include Grape-Nuts and Honey Bunches of Oats, gets increased to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Red Lion Hotels (RLH): Robert W. Baird raises its RLH recommendation to Neutral from Underperform and assigns an objective of $7.

RenaissanceRe (RNR): Deutsche Bank hoists the insurer to Hold from Sell.

Resolute Forest Products (RFP): Shares, a stellar performer yesterday, are upgraded to Hold from Reduce at TD Securities.

Wright Medical (WMGI): The company gets upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Don't Lose Your Shirt in Abercrombie and New Stock Coverage: Analysts in No Rush to Buy Swift Transportation.)
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