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Stock Upgrades: Sea of Green for Transocean (NYSE:RIG)?

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Having fallen for three straight days, the stock market sent in a Scotsman to stop the rot. A sensible enough idea - after all, the famously frugal birthplace of Adam Smith hates to lose money above all else - but it failed miserably, markets moving lower again on more pain in Spain. At least Alexander Graham Bell, Edinburgh native and inventor of the telephone, can take pride in the insatiable appetite people have for the newest iterations of his product.

"Loose lips sink ships" admonished an old World War II poster; in this case QE3 was torpedoed by offhand remarks from Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser. "We are unlikely to see much benefit to growth or to employment from further asset purchases," the official declared. (Now he tells us.) Elsewhere Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM), named after a bird of prey, may want to consider calling itself Phoenix. Down 78% on Monday, it rose from the ashes in some style, increasing 46% yesterday.

This morning in economics, analysts expect an increase in August new home sales at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Progress Software (PRGS) and Worthington Industries (WOR) are among companies due to report quarterly results.

Pacific Premier Bancorp (PPBI): The stock gets a boost to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James. Catalysts include a stronger loan growth outlook and increased profitability. The target is also taken up, to $11 from $10.

Suez Environnement (SZVEY): Shares are now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Transocean (NYSE:RIG): RIG gets raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, which cites relative valuation and increased day rate assumptions. The new price objective is $54, up from $52.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Raining on Carnival's (NYSE:CCL) Parade and New Stock Coverage: Treasure in Trash at Waste Connections (NYSE:WCN).)
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