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Stock Upgrades: Seeds of Hope for Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Wind turbine maker American Superconductor (AMSC) surged 6.46% even as the overall market suffered through its steepest slump since July. Send some shares to suffering Spaniards, whose elected officials continue to tilt at windmills like latter-day Don Quixotes. China may be a "roach motel" in the words of one hedge honcho, but its best-known budget hotel chain 7 Days Group (SVN) gained 13.06%.

Don't count on candle maker Blyth (BTH) to leave the light on for you in the manner of Motel 6; it tumbled 21.15% to a new low. Knight Capital (KCG), which has recently endured some dark days, advanced 8.75% and The Casual Vacancy looks like proving there is profit post-Potter for Barnes & Noble (BKS), which climbed 5.95%.

Today in economics, analysts expect an essentially unchanged figure for August pending home sales at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Accenture (ACN), Discover Financial (DFS), Global Payments (GPN), Hennes & Mauritz (HMRZF), Micron Technology (MU), Nike (NKE), and Research In Motion (RIMM) are all due to report results.

CBOE Holdings (CBOE): Shares are raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James, which says its proprietary volatility index franchise is under-appreciated. The price objective is $34.

Dean Foods (DF): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Perform by BMO Capital.

Goodyear Tire (GT): The stock is up sharply before the bell on an upgrade to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

IMAX Corp (IMAX): Citing valuation and network growth opportunity, Susquehanna moves the entertainment outfit to Positive from Neutral. The target is $23.

Monsanto (NYSE:MON): The world's largest seed company is moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo, which expects it to benefit from higher pricing and penetration in Latin America.

RWE AG (RWEOY): The German energy outfit gets upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Shire plc (SHPG): Shares are boosted to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) Sent to Siberia and New Stock Coverage: Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ) Dancing for Joy.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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