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New Stock Coverage: Amazon Is a Money Tree


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Capitol Hill is clearly no place to solve the fiscal cliff. Stocks suffered a severe case of vertigo, dropping from recent dizzying highs after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "little progress" had been made in addressing impending tax hikes and spending cuts.

This contrasted sharply with our cousins across the Atlantic, where a meeting lasting 13 hours ended in an agreement to release Greek aid on December 13. (It obviously doesn't pay to be superstitious in Europe.) Ignoring a trail of red ink in Athens as far as the eye can see, officials opted for rose-tinted glasses in vowing to cut Greek debt to merely 124% of GDP by 2020, which hindsight will doubtless reveal as another exercise in futility. The euro promptly fell against a dozen currencies and - in a delicious piece of irony - banknote printer De La Rue (DELRF), which stands to benefit mightily from a return to the drachma, chose yesterday of all days to its report first half profit rose impressively.

Still, for now hope springs eternal with Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde - at each other's throats earlier in the month - sealing the deal with a remarkably passionate kiss. (The entire point of the exercise was to put lipstick on a PIIG, after all.) The Brussels meeting wrapped up at 1:30 in the morning, which would account for a 13.26% S&P 500 (^GSPC) leading surge in energy drink maker Monster Beverage (MNST), were it not for the fact that a bankrupt continent's beverage preferences tend to lean more toward fine wine.

Today in economics, analysts expect October new home sales to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, and the Fed releases its Beige Book outlining regional financial conditions at 2:00 p.m. On the earnings front, Aéropostale ARO), American Eagle (AEO), Express Inc. (EXPR), Fresh Market (TFM), Guess (GES), Movado Group (MOV), Pall Corp. (PLL), rue21 (RUE), TiVo Inc. (TIV), and Workday (WDAY) are all due to reveal results.

Check Point Software (CHKP): CHKP is covered with a Market Perform at BMO Capital, which issues a $48 target price.

Energy Stocks: Raymond James rates both Delek Logistics (DKL) and Southcross Energy (SXE) Outperform.

Galena Biopharma (GALE): The small cap is surging some 10% before the opening bell after being initiated with a Buy at Aegis.

Hartford Financial (HIH): The insurance outfit is a fresh Buy at brokerage boutique Drexel Hamilton.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX): Deutsche Bank begins Buy rated research.

Internet Stocks: Cowen assigns Outperforms on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and has new Neutrals on eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Pandora (NYSE:P) IAC/InterActive (NASDAQ:IACI), and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).

Vodafone (VOD): The telecom titan is resumed with an Outperform at Robert W. Baird, which issues a price objective of $30 on a stock it says is attractively exposed to growing emerging markets and mobile data.

Workday (WDAY): The stock is picked up with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Louis Vuitton Living Large in Luxury's Lap and Stock Downgrades: Sherwin-Williams Painting the Tape Red.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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