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New Stock Coverage: Viagra Maker Pfizer Boosted by Love and Other Drugs


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks rose for a second straight session just in time for today's celebration of Scotland's Patron Saint, which is just as well since citizens of Adam Smith's birthplace famously loath losing money. (St. Andrew is currently in pretty good company, what with Saints Row producer THQ Inc. (THQI) jumping 37.96% to top the Nasdaq (^IXIC) and St. Jude (STJ), up 2.40% yesterday, adding on another 2.14% before the opening bell on the back of an analyst upgrade.)

A seesaw session saw stocks first fall after listening to the Speaker - John Boehner sounding downbeat on the fiscal cliff - before gaining from a Talk to Chuck - Senator Schumer's more optimistic outlook helping turn markets around. There was a free lunch for Mitt Romney at the White House but Breakfast at Tiffany's (TIF) cost investors a fortune. It slid 6.17% in posting the S&P 500's (^GSPC) poorest performance. Having the cast of a show called Happily Divorced start the trading day may not, in hindsight, have been the most auspicious omen for the wedding ring king, an irony likely not lost on Liz Lemon as she herself tied the knot.

Today in economics, analysts project a slight uptick in November's Chicago Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, results are expected out of Genesco (GCO), Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK), United Natural Foods (UNFI), and hiteWave Foods (WWAV).

Bazaarvoice (BV): Shares are a new Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY): Cowen covers the company at Outperform.

Drug Stocks: Dual Dow (^DJI) members Merck (NYSE:MRK) (Neutral) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) (Buy) are the standouts of new pharmaceutical stock coverage at Citigroup, which assigns respective price objectives of $44 and $29. Buy rated research is rolled out on Botox maker Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), and Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX), while Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) is a new Neutral.

Drug Stocks: Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) is a new Neutral at Mizuho, which is more upbeat on Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) as Xifaxan IBS and Relistor OIC have the potential to reemerge in 2013.

LinkedIn (LNKD): Shares are launched with a Neutral at Wedbush, whose price target is $106.

Oil Stocks: Wells Fargo has Market Performs on Hess (HES) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) while assigning Outperforms on ConocoPhillips (COP), Marathon Oil (MRO) and Murphy Oil (MUR).

Pilgrim's Pride (PPC): PPC is picked up with an Equal Weight at Stephens, whose target is $5.50.

Puma Biotechnology (PBYI): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch launches Buy rated research on PBYI.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Yum Brands Banished From the Menu and Stock Upgrades: Slim Jim Owner ConAgra Poised to Plump Up.)
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