With February 14 (if not those flowers) still fresh, investors rediscovered their infatuation with equities. They did so, however, amid an astonishing example of how razor-thin is the line that separates love from hate. Even as it emerged that a proud son of Ukraine consummated a $19 billion sweetheart deal with Mark Zuckerberg over chocolate-covered strawberries on Valentine's Day
, his homeland endured the single bloodiest day in its post-Soviet history, with at least 70 protesters killed. Wall Street, as is its wont, focused only on the good news, and sent Dow Industrials
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) up in impressive fashion. Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB), founded by a college dropout, promptly shrugged off dual downgrades
to gain 2.31% in hitting a historic high. The "kids, stay in school" message (presumably delivered on a WhatsApp) was thus a little muddled yesterday. (Slackers should still stay the course, however, as For Dummies
owner John Wiley
(NYSE:JW.A) and CliffsNotes
publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(NASDAQ:HMHC) each reached fresh bests.) Among other equities on the move, Ontario's own BlackBerry
(NASDAQ:BBRY) ended up 3.77%. It got clobbered early on, only to end up a winner in overtime. And we're happy for our Canadian cousins
. No, really we are
This morning in economics, January existing home sales are expected to fall from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Charter Communications
(NASDAQ:CHTR), Dish Network
(NASDQ:DISH), and Ecolab
(NYSE:ECL) are the pick of today's quarterly announcements.
(NYSE:AEG): The insurance outfit is up before the bell after being raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.
(OTCMKTS:BAESY) Shares of Europe's largest defense contractor, fresh from yesterday's 7.66% slump, are rebounding overseas today after getting a Buy-from-Hold boost at Societe Generale.
(NASDAQ:COMM): Jefferies juices its rating on the equity, surging some 14.14% in pre-market activity, to Buy from Hold. Its price objective, previously $17.50, increases to $25.
(NASDAQ:EVEP): Amid improved monetization prospects, Wunderlich lifts the limited partnership to Buy from Hold. Its target price is also taken up, by $1 to $40.
(OTCMKTS:REMYY): Cognac king Remy Cointreau is up impressively in today's Paris trading, this on the back an Overweight-from-Equal Weight boost by Barclays. The bank hails the spirits company's "attractive wealth demographics" in the increasingly critical Chinese market.
(NASDAQ:REXX): Global Hunter Securities raises REXX to Accumulate from Neutral.
(NASDAQ:STX): RBC Capital Markets moves the stock to Outperform from Perform, increasing its objective to $60, amid good enterprise growth prospects.
(NYSE:SIG): Citing high hopes for the firm's $690 million deal with Zale Corp
(NYSE:ZLC), Sterne Agee lifts the bling king to Buy from Hold. Its target is also taken up substantially, to $120 from $86.
(NYSE:THI): All this and a gold medal, eh
? With Team USA still smarting from our women's ice hockey loss at the Olympics, Ontario's own Tim Hortons today scores an analyst upgrade. The company, a donut and coffee icon up north, was founded by a Toronto Maple Leafs legend who was tragically killed in a 1974 car crash. Today Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.
(NYSE:TOT): Goldman Sachs gives the French energy firm a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.
New Stock Coverage: Is the Cupboard Bare at the Pantry? (MVPRO article)
Stock Downgrades: Even 'President' Hamilton Gives Up on Groupon (MVPRO article)
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