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New Stock Coverage: Best Buy a Tough Sell


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The Dow (^DJI), now up for three straight weeks in its best streak since the summer, rose 0.99% as Hurricane Sandy failed to exert anything like the negative impact on November's employment picture that Wall Street's expensively remunerated experts predicted. (Redundant proof that economists were indeed created to make weather forecasters look good.)

Meanwhile the stock market's unerring ability to predict nine of the past five recessions was turned on its head as German equities, up 27% in 2012, hit a half-decade high even as Bundesbank slashed its guesstimate for the country's growth. Great Neck, inspiration for The Great Gatsby, banned clotheslines and Standard Chartered (PINK:SCBFF), whose laundering tends more toward money than clothes, agreed to pay $330 million to settle an Iranian accusation.

And an octogenarian politician embraced new media to warn the young against passively allowing profligate Baby Boomers to squander their financial future. An admirable message although - in light of the fact that only one-in-seven kids save their pocket money - it already looks like an exercise in futility.

No top-tier economic data due today, but earnings announcements are expected out of ABM Industries (ABM), Cubic Corporation (CUB), Enzo Biochem (ENZ), John Wiley & Sons (JW-A), Landauer Inc. (LDR), Scholastic (SCHL), Teavana (TEA), and Winnebago Industries (WGO).

Acacia Research Corporation (ACTG): Shares are covered at Outperform by Cowen.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch launches a rating of Underperform - often seen as a Wall Street code word for "sell" - on a stock that has fallen 57.36% in the past 12 months.

Duke Energy (DUK): Morgan Stanley starts the shares at Overweight.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX): The company, whose equity imploded 18.7% last week after announcing an acquisition of McMoRan Exploration (MMR), is a new Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill.

Lufkin Industries (LUFK): The oil and gas outfit gets initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST): Shares are an Outperform with Wells.

Quanta Services (PWR): The stock gets begun with a Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Ruckus Wireless (RKUS): Shares, up 32.9% last week, are a new Buy at Lazard.

Teradyne (TER): The name is a new Buy at Needham, whose price target is $20. The broker says TER is positioned to capitalize on a resumption of semiconductor capital spending.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: US Steel More Clark Kent Than Superman and Stock Upgrades: TripAdvisor Stock Heading North.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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