Stock Upgrades: Ryanair Starts the Party Way Before Arriving in Ibiza

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Squeezed in between the excitement of Fed Wednesday and quadruple witching Friday, Thursday was an instantly-forgettable piggy (or tapir) in the middle for the markets. The S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) snapped a four-session advance, even as Priceline ( PCLN ) became its first component in history to finish with a four-figure price tag. The largest online travel site will now set you back $1,000.62 per share, this despite its principal product being so easy even an ape can do it . Billboard maker Lamar Advertising ( LAMR ) advanced 5.15% and Oracle ( ORCL ), whose philandering executive once found himself plastered all over a Times Square billboard , shrugged off an iffy analyst initiation and cautious earnings outlook to end up. Elsewhere, downgraded Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) member Disney ( DIS ) dropped 2.07% after delaying Pixar's film The Good Dinosaur for 18 months. Fossil ( FOSL ), however, encountered no such problems and jumped 1.90%.

No top-tier economic data due today - a singularly awful one in stock market history - but Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants (DRI) releases results. As mentioned, it's also a " quadruple witching " Friday, and they rarely lack action. (This phenomenon is not to be mistaken for the quartet of Fed officials addressing audiences this afternoon, in the form of Esther George (12:30 p.m. Eastern), Daniel Tarullo (12:40 p.m.), James Bullard (12:55 p.m.), and Narayana Kocherlakota (1:45 p.m.)

Ameren (AEE): Shares are boosted to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Bank of Hawaii (BOH): Barclays hoists the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Diamondrock Hospitality (DRH): The stock is now Buy from Hold at MLV & Co, whose price objective also increases to $13 from $11.

Facebook (FB): Another day, another broker boost for the social networking name, today taken to Outperform from Perform at Cowen on higher mobile revenues. The price objective, previously $29, increases to $53.

MetLife (MET): MET is added to the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR): After yesterday's plunge, PIR is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

J Sainsbury (OTCMKTS:JSAIY): The British grocery giant is bucking a broadly lower London tape today after being taken to Neutral from Sell by Citigroup. Its Q2 earnings release is seen as showing margin strength by the bank.

Ryanair Holdings (RYAAY): The low-cost carrier, which this week had to kick a bunch of boozy Brits off a flight bound for the party island of Ibiza , is now Neutral from Underweight at HSBC Securities.

Urban Outfitters (URBN): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity, which says a recent sell off is overdone. The target is $48.

Volvo (OTCMKTS:VOLVY): Société Générale gives the Swedish car company a Buy-from-Hold boost.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Clorox Taken to the Cleaners and New Stock Coverage: London Whale Still a Killer for JPMorgan .)



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: DIS , FOSL , LAMR , ORCL , PCLN

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