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New Stock Coverage: With Yet Another 'Like,' It's a (Sally) Field Day for Facebook

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Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

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Sesame Street - and indeed Avenue Q - had far more fun last week than did Wall Street. A 1,500% increase in bankrupt outfit Tweeter (OTCMKTS:TWTRQ) - not to be confused with Twitter's assigned stock symbol of TWTR, was brought to you by the letter "Q." Most other investors lost money, however, with the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropping 1.22% as an alphabet soup of government agencies began shutting down. The Empire State (NYSEESRT) Building, atop which Sleepless in Seattle was filmed, went public and an unloved Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) had reason to rue Rain City, where a car fire caused its surging stock to cool off considerably. Elsewhere Diet drug darling Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) surged 17.04% but Potbelly (NASDAQ:PBP), up 119.79% on Friday, had the final word.

Today in economics, August consumer credit is predicted to expand at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. In earnings action, expect Tower Group (NASDAQ:TWGP) to release results.

B2Gold (NYSEMKT:BTG): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch launches Buy-rated research on the small cap Canadian commodity company.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): I haven't seen this many "likes" since Sally Field's cringe-worthy Oscar acceptance speech in 1985. Today the recently-surging social networking name finds a place in the heart of analysts at Atlantic Equities, who start the stock with an upbeat Overweight. (Note that shares also incurred a rare ratings reduction this morning and, in a brutal overall tape for futures, it appears that the downgrade is currently carrying more weight.)

Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN): The portable navigation device maker is a new Overweight at Atlantic.

General Electric (NYSE:GE): Goldman Sachs starts the key Dow component at a Neutral. Its price objective is $26.

ITC Holdings (NYSE:ITC): Morgan Stanley assigns an Overweight on the electric utility.

Tri-County Financial (NASDAQ:TCFC): The stock is initiated with an Outperform by Keefe Bruyette.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Apple, Hain Celestial, and Signet Jewelers and Stock Downgrades: IBM, Alcoa, and Qualcomm.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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