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New Stock Coverage: It's All About the Benjamins for Franklin Covey

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Wall Street ran on backup generators, but equities failed to generate much excitement, with stocks slipping slightly on light volume as trading finally resumed after Hurricane Sandy. While there was no Halloween horror story yesterday, the Dow (^DJI) did drop 325 points in October for its first monthly loss since May. May the force be with you? Not if you're Walt Disney (DIS), which declined 1.92% after spending $4.05 billion for the Star Wars franchise. (After our recent Superstorm, investors sensibly shunned anything that smacked of Stormtroopers.)

Following the first four-day closure of equity markets since the January 2007 funeral of President Ford, Ford Motor (F) made noise by jumping 8.24% on impressive earnings, actually released on Tuesday when silent trees were falling in forests and elsewhere. Flights remained grounded, but Airborne maker Schiff Nutrition (SHF) topped the entire NYSE, surging 45.92% after being bought by Bayer (BAYRY).

Also ending at an all-time peak following its acquisition was Warnaco Group (WRC), the Speedo maker gaining 38.72% even as a devastated Jersey Shore will go sadly unswimmed for the foreseeable future. Asbury Park icon Bruce Springsteen, who once penned a song called, of all things, Sandy, could perhaps take some small solace in Asbury Automotive (ABG) advancing 3.83% to the highest level in its history.

Today in economics, September construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's October manufacturing index are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, earnings season rolls on with quarterly results expected out of American International Group (AIG), British Sky Broadcasting (BSYBY), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Estée Lauder (EL), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Kellogg (K), Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Newmont Mining (NEM), Pfizer (PFE), Sharp (SHCAY), and Starbucks (SBUX).

CVB Financial (CVBF): The stock is begun with a Buy at Crowell Weedon, whose target price is $15.

Franklin Covey (NYSE:FC): Roth Capital resumes Buy rated research and issues a price objective of $17.

Millennial Media (MM): Shares are a new Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Pharmacyclics (PCYC): Piper picks the stock up at Overweight.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Checking Out of Hyatt Hotels and Stock Upgrades: Tupperware Can't Contain Its Excitement.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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