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Stock Upgrades: Plum Creek Timber Is a Money Tree


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

Just in time for June wedding season, stocks swooned, thanks to worries about something old (yet more European angst), something new (a sudden speed bump in Japan's hitherto high-flying index), and something borrowed (ominous developments in the debt markets, where global bonds endured their worst month in nine years.)

As for something blue, well those famous aqua boxes of Tiffany (TIF) are exempt from the malaise, with that resurgent stock once more beloved by one and all having jumped 5.6% in the past four weeks alone.

While many stocks went Down Under, Melbourne native James Gorman saw his Morgan Stanley (MS) surge 6.4% in four holiday-shortened sessions, making it the best performing financial stock in the entire S&P 500 Index (^GSPC). No wonder Aussies are the planet's happiest people.

Today in economics, May's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index and construction spending for April are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL) reports quarterly earnings.

American Campus Communities (ACC): ACC is increased to Buy from Neutral at ISI Group.

Best Buy (BBY): Suntrust Robinson Humphrey raises its recommendation on the big box retailer to Buy from Neutral.

BNC Bancorp (BNCN): The stock is raised to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.

Catamaran (CTRX): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital.

Cobalt International Energy (CIE): ISI Group gives the stock a Strong Buy-from-Buy boost.

Hotel Stocks: Marriott International (MAR) and Starwood Hotels (HOT) are among the accommodation outfits upgraded to Buy from Neutral at ISI Group.

Infosys (INFY): The Indian outsourcing and Information Technology giant gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Intel (INTC): The semiconductor company, a key Dow (^DJI) component, is increased to Outperform from Market Perform with a new higher price objective of $28 (up from $23) at FBR Capital. The server market represents a potentially solid source of revenue, in the broker's estimation.

Littelfuse (LFUS): The stock is lifted to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which also takes its target price up by $14 to $84. Catalysts include strong free cash flow and a well-regarded management team.

MetLife (MET): The insurance outfit gets moved to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Orbitz (OWW): Lazard lifts the online travel outfit to Buy from Neutral.

Plum Creek Timber (NYSE:PCL): Citing a solid industry backdrop, Bank of America-Merrill raises the residential Real Estate Investment Trust to Buy from Neutral.

Healthways (HWAY): Piper Jaffray juices the stock to Overweight from Neutral.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Now's Not the Time to Own GOL and Stock Downgrades: TripAdvisor Now Going Nowhere Fast)
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