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Stock Upgrades: Priceline Going Places


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL As the Democratic convention concluded in Charlotte, ancillary investment plays abounded. On a stellar day in equities, Cherokee (CHKE) actually fell 1.43% following its Q2 earnings announcement, which will particularly perturb one blonde-haired, blue-eyed member of the tribe.

Sears (SHLD) surged 10.09% to top the entire S&P 500 Index(^GSPC). Its Chicago tower was the world's tallest back in the day, although one Windy City politician may say we "didn't build that." President Obama, being a big fan of bullets both magic and silver, can enjoy this morning's 20% surge in Smith & Wesson (SWHC). And the decision to switch his speech from Bank of America (BAC) Stadium promptly sent it skyrocketing 5.03% to best all blue chips (^DJI).

Today's quarterly earnings announcements are expected to include Brady Corp. (BRC), Kroger (KR), and Lululemon Athletica (LULU).

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

Boston Properties (BXP): BSX is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Cabela's (CAB): CAB is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Denbury Resources (DNR): The stock is now Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

Equity Residential (EQR): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor Fitzgerald, whose target is $68.50. An attractive valuation is cited.

European Financials: Barclays (BCS) is boosted by Deutsche Bank to Buy from Hold.

Packaging Stocks: Packaging Corp (PKG) is now Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, which raises Rock-Tenn (RKT) to Conviction Buy from Neutral. (PCLN): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Nomura, whose target is $740.

SunTrust Banks (STI): STI is taken to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital.

Starwood Hotels (HOT): Argus hoists HOT to Buy from Hold to reflect is aggressive growth strategy.

Synacor (SYNC): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the stock to Buy from Neutral.

Zimmer (ZMH): The medical device maker gets moved to Outperform from Market Perform by Sanford Bernstein.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Jacobs Engineering Not Building Ladder to Stars and New Stock Coverage: Franklin Resources Is All About the Benjamins.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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