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Stock Upgrades: Diamond Foods Looks Like a Gem

By: Minyanville
Posted: 9/26/2013 9:22:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: ACN;CCL;FB;MKC;NKE

Cruz and cruise combined to scupper stocks, with shares sinking for a fifth straight session as the Tea Party poster child sent equities deeper into hot water already occupied by an utterly unloved Carnival Corporation ( CCL ), which dived 5.33%. As a result, the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) endured its longest losing streak all year. Amid the wreckage, a broker boost sent Facebook ( FB ) up 2.08% to a fresh best, even as fully 15% of us still don't get this whole Interweb thing . A day that began with Letta ringing the opening bell ended with the Post Office in ever more dire straits. Its two cents' worth involved a proposal to raise stamp prices by three cents. This as the lumbering bureaucracy is expected to lose $6 billion this year, the sort of incompetence that usually only occurs in the private sector .

Today's economic data includes August pending home sales at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, with analysts calling for a fall. In earnings action, consulting company Accenture ( ACN ), fashion firm Hennes & Mauritz (OTCMKTS:HNNMY), spice stock McCormick ( MKC ), and Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) newbie Nike ( NKE ) are all due to release results.

Aéropostale (ARO): BlueFin boosts the clothing company to Outperform from Neutral.

AmBev (ABV): The Brazilian beverage behemoth, officially called Companhia de Bebidas das Americas, is increased to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Applied Materials (AMAT): The tech name is taken to Buy from Hold by Berenberg.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST): Leerink Swann lifts the firm to Outperform from Market Perform. Its target is increased substantially, by $19 to $76.

Diamond Foods (DMND): The snack stock whose offerings include Pop Secret and Kettle Brand gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY): Shares in the energy company get upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Portland General Electric (POR): Wells Fargo juices the electric utility to Outperform from Market Perform.

Watsco (WSO): Robert W. Baird boosts the wholesale electronics outfit to Outperform from Neutral.

W.W. Grainger (GWW): The industrial stock is now Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

Xylem (XYL): The diversified machinery name is moved to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays, which also increases its price objective to $33 from $26.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Diamondback Energy Is Strictly Rhinestone and New Stock Coverage: Diamond Seller Blue Nile Set to Sparkle .)