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Stock Upgrades: Ball Corporation About to Bounce

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

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Someone just spent $104.5 million on an Andy Warhol artwork called "Crash," but Wall Street shows little sign of doing the same. (Crashing, that is; spending like a drunken sailor is another matter entirely.) US stock markets advanced again, with both the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) each reaching records, as Senator Chuck Schumer told his fellow Brooklynite and current Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, "I think you'll make a great chair," in her appearance in the hot seat. Amid all this talk of chairs, Tyco International (NYSE:TYC) advanced 2.37% to levels not seen since 2002, the year its Dennis the Menace Kozlowski made whoopee on his shareholders' dime by blowing $445 on a pincushion. Elsewhere Dunder Mifflin and Houghton Mifflin (NASDAQ:HMHC) both made paper profits, with a 180 degree broker boost, sending Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) up 4.46% even as the textbook publisher surged 32.17% on its first trading day. Across the Atlantic, London's FTSE 100 Index (INDEXFTSE:UKX) ended at a devilish 6,666 although some UK stocks still posted mighty impressive performances. Tabloid publisher Trinity Mirror (OTCMKTS:TNMRY) jumped 10.45%, although where high-flying newspaper stocks are concerned, you can expect a correction. It just may take a century and a half.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets this morning, September wholesale inventories are expected to ease off slightly from the pace seen in August at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, Maximus, Inc. (NYSE:MMS) beat Street estimates when it reported quarterly results earlier this morning.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (NASDAQ:MDRX): Leerink moves MDRX, which tumbled 2.27% even as markets reached fresh peaks on Thursday, to Outperform from Market Perform.

Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL): Saying that Ball Corporation "looks to be on much better footing than was the case earlier in the year," Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts its stock to Buy from Neutral. Its amended price objective on Ball Corporation, a packaging powerhouse, is $56.

China Eastern Airlines (NYSE:CEA): Jefferies juices its rating 180 degrees, to Buy from Underperform.

Dangdang (NYSE:DANG): Beijing-based e-commerce company Dangdang gets hoisted to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities. Over the past 12 months, stock in Dangdang has surged some 154.89%.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND): Ligand Pharmaceuticals, a generic drug-maker, is taken to Hold from Sell at Cantor Fitzgerald. Kyprolis, used to treat multiple myeloma, is one of Ligand Pharmaceuticals' flagship products.

MSC Industrial (NYSE:MSM): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.

Pentair (NYSE:PNR): Shares are boosted to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc Capital.

SAP AG (NYSE:SAP): Barclays gives the German enterprise software giant an Overweight-from-Equal Weight upgrade.

Tetra Tech (NASDAQ:TTEK): TTEK is taken to Buy from Neutral at Brean Capital, whose target price is $32 on a stock it says should benefit from both an improving end-market outlook and its attractive valuation.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Ominous Echoes of '87 at Aeropostale? and Stock Downgrades: Kohl's Takes Its Lumps)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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