Stock Upgrades: There's No Place Like HomeAway


"Sell in May and go away" had a twist in the tail this year, as befits the year of the snake . Absent a major Friday fall off, shares will round out what is a traditionally soft month with strong gains.

Twenty four hours after pork producer Smithfield Foods ( SFD ) jumped an NYSE-best 28.42% after being bought, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) - whose Geico unit has an awfully odd relationship with pigs - hit a fresh best after its MidAmerican Energy unit made a $5.6 billion acquisition of its own.

The Land of the Rising Sun was once more home to falling stocks, with Japan's Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) nose-diving another 5.2%. Yet on this side of the Atlantic Twilight suited Lions Gate ( LGF ) just fine as the sun spectacularly set in New York . (An upgraded First Solar ( FSLR ) felt the halo effect, adding 6.55% to top the entire S&P 500 (^GSPC)).

This morning in economics, analysts expect improvements in the May Chicago Purchasing Managers' index at 9:45 a.m. Eastern and this month's University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey at 9:55 a.m. On the corporate front, Genesco ( GCO ) and Graham Corporation (GHM) are the pick of a quiet day for earnings announcements.

Calpine Corporation (CPN): Deutsche Bank increases the electric utility to Buy from Hold.

Canadian National Railway (CNI): Shares are now Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan.

CME Group (CME): The exchange operator gets moved to Market Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette.

Hawaiian Electric (HE): JP Morgan has a new Neutral on HE.

HomeAway ( AWAY ): Piper Jaffray juices its rating on the online vacation rental outfit to Overweight from Neutral.

Morgan Stanley (MS): MS gets a Buy-from-Hold boost by Deutsche Bank.

NorthWestern Corporation (NWE): The utility is now Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which takes its target price up by $1 to $47 on a firm it believes is closing in on its objective of securing 50% of Montana retail gas supply via owned-gas assets.

Perfect World (PWRD): Shares get moved to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.

Statoil (STO): HSBC Securities hoists the energy outfit to Overweight from Neutral.

Uroplasty (UPI): The small cap stock is moved to Outperform from Perform at JMP Securities.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Tiffany Boosted by the Bling Ring and Stock Downgrades: Scotts Miracle-Gro Not Hitting Pay Dirt )

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: AWAY , FSLR , GCO , LGF , SFD



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