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New Stock Coverage: Feast on Yum Brands Before Thanksgiving


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Ironic, in the week America gives thanks for that time in 1620 when English separatists made a break from the Mother Country on the Mayflower, but a British software stock called, of all things, Autonomy yesterday disastrously ensnared its new owner on this side of the Atlantic.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), unloved and disowned, plunged 11.95% to single-handedly drop the Dow (^DJI) into negative territory on the day. This after $8.8 billion worth of accounting "improprieties," to use a $10 word the company can now ill afford, were alleged at a tech firm founded in the same hallowed halls of Cambridge University where Sir Isaac Newton was once educated. The science wiz exhibited a pretty decent feel for figures, so to see such fuzzy math emanating from his heirs at the iconic educational institution really is inexcusable. Autonomy executives clearly took arithmetic advice from Taylor Lautner of Scholastic (SCHL), which is tumbling 21.70% before the bell.

Elsewhere, Ben Bernanke provided redundant proof that Fed heads should be seen and not heard, since stocks slumped to session lows the minute he started speaking at New York's Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway. The very venue, incidentally, where Evita is currently packing 'em in. One song from the show perfectly sums up Washington's woefully inadequate efforts to solve our fiscal cliff crisis.

It's a relatively busy morning in economics ahead of tomorrow's market close. The University of Michigan's final figure for November consumer confidence is out at 9:55 a.m. Eastern, and October leading indicators arrive at 10:00 a.m. Corporate earnings are expected out of China Resources Enterprise (CRHKY), Deere (DE), and Donaldson (DCI).

BE Aerospace (BEAV): The equity is an Outperform at Imperial Capital, whose target price is $56. Recent acquisitions are expected to provide upside relative to expectations.

Biotechs: Biogen Idec (BIIB), Celgene (CELG), and Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD) are all begun with Buys at Brean Capital.

Brasil Foods (BRFS): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Citigroup.

Infinity Pharmaceutical (INFI): The stock is resumed with an Outperform at RBC Capital.

LinnCo (LNCO): Shares are begun with a Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and an Outperform at Robert W. Baird, whose target price is $48.

Linn Energy (LINE): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs all launch Neutral rated research on LINE. Barclays, at Overweight, is more upbeat.

Marathon Petroleum (MPC): The stock is resumed with a Buy at Bank of America-Merrill.

Matrix Service (MTRX): The engineering outfit is initiated with a Buy at DA Davidson.

MPLX LP (MPLX): The oil and gas pipeline play is begun with a Buy at Citigroup.

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD): Citigroup picks up PXD at a Buy.

Realogy (RLGY): The company is a new Neutral at Citi.

Repros Therapeutics (RPRX): Roth Capital resumes Buy rated research on RPRX.

Wesco Aircraft (WAIR): Imperial Capital assigns In-line coverage, and a $15 price objective, on the stock as defense sales will limit top-line growth.

Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM): The owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell is initiated with an Outperform at Macquarie, which establishes a price objective of $93.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: St. Jude Medical Loses Another Disciple and Stock Upgrades: Skechers Has Fresh Spring in Its Step.)
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