Stock Upgrades: American Campus Communities, Inc. Is Kicking It Old School

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Michael Moore, who called one of his movies Capitalism: A Love Story (ironically, I believe), just filed for divorce after two decades , but investors everywhere are continuing their utter infatuation with equities. The Dow (^DJI) and S&P 500 (^GSPC) Index each hit historic highs, and if their infinitesimal respective increases of 0.51% and 0.71% seem deadly dull, that masks much action under the Surface. (Assuming an unloved Microsoft ( MSFT ), fresh from tumbling 12% in its worst week for four years, will forgive the phrase.) Bill Gates thus not only saw his net worth considerably cut, but he also had to endure a hitherto unknown American becoming the richest person in all human history after eBay Inc.'s ( EBAY ) Paypal unit briefly bestowed $92,233,720,368,547,800 on him . The online auctioneer's generosity is to be applauded, especially in a week its disowned stock imploded 8.5%. Elsewhere aging Internet outfit Yahoo ( YHOO ) reported a steep slide in revenue, which comedian Conan O'Brien claimed the company "found out about by Googling ( GOOG ) it." Yet with the former surging 6.9% to a fresh multi-year peak, even as the latter tumbled 2.9%, Marissa Mayer had the last laugh.

This morning in economics, June existing home sales are expected to tick up from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Peak week for Q2 earnings reports is upon us, with today's quarterly announcements expected to include Crane Company ( CR ), Gannett (GCI), Halliburton (HAL), Hasbro (HAS), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), McDonald's (MCD), Netflix (NFLX), Royal Philips (PHG), Six Flags (SIX), Texas Instruments (TXN), UBS AG (UBS), and Zions Bancorporation (ZION).

African Barrick Gold (ABGLY): JPMorgan moves the commodity company to Neutral from Underweight.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU): The French telecom firm is taken to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.

American Campus Communities, Inc. (ACC): Shares are boosted to Buy from Hold at MLV & Co, which also takes its target price up by $2 to $50 amid a belief that leasing issues for the 2014/15 academic year are overstated.

Antofagasta (ANFGY): The copper miner gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO): The advertising outfit is boosted to Neutral from Sell by brokerage boutique B Riley, which also increases its price objective to $7.00 from $4.50. An improving macroeconomic backdrop in Europe is one reason for the firm's heightened optimism.

Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which says immigration reform concerns may be exacerbated.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS): Characterizing the company as an "undervalued growth story," Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

NeoPhotonics (NPTN): NPTN is now Strong Buy from Buy at Needham.

Schlumberger (SLB): The oil services stock gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Global Hunter. The target is also taken up, to $97 from $80, amid optimism over its stock buyback intentions among other favorable factors.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Analyst Walks All Over Crocs, Inc. and New Stock Coverage: Tremor Video Inc All Set to Shake Things Up .)



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CR , EBAY , GOOG , MSFT , YHOO

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