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New Stock Coverage: Lions Gate a Paper Tiger?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The stock market threw quite a Sweet 16 celebration for itself on the anniversary of that day in 1996 when Alan Greenspan famously warned of "irrational exuberance." (The Dow (^DJI) was at 6437 back then and begins this morning at 13034, so heaven knows what our ex-Fed head makes of its current level.) Shares advanced to fresh four-week peaks, and did so without any assistance from Apple (AAPL), which endured its single worst day in four years. (Its split-adjusted shares on December 5 1996: $6.19. Its shares now: $538.79, so shed no tears.) Mr. Greenspan could have avoided the bubble he helped create by the simple act of raising margin requirements, so it's better late than never.

Citigroup (C), which never sleeps, soared 6.33% after retreating from an ill-advised over expansion and Starbucks (SBUX), whose principal product prevents you from sleeping, is up 1.40% before the bell despite embarking on the sort of over expansion that proved similarly ill advised in the past.

It's quite a quiet day in economic data but quarterly earnings announcements are expected out of Analogic (ALOG), Cooper Companies (COO), Esterline Technologies (ESL), H&R Block (HRB), Lululemon Athletica (LULU), Methode Electronics (MEI), Smithfield Foods (SFD), and Stein Mart (SMRT).

Apollo Investment (AINV): Shares are assigned a Market Perform at Raymond James.

Cablevision Systems (CVC): Raymond James rolls out Outperform rated research and establishes a price objective of $15.50.

Crocs Inc. (CROX): The company is covered at Outperform by Imperial Capital, whose target price is $16. The broker believes the footwear firm is well positioned to generate sales growth in the 15% plus range over upcoming years.

Crown Castle International (CCI): Deutsche Bank begins with a Buy and issues an $82 objective.

Emerson Electric (EMR): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has a new Neutral on the industrial outfit.

Energy Stocks: Brean Capital begins Buys on Callon Petroleum (CPE), Saratoga Resources (SARA), and Synergy Resources (SYRG).

Fusion-io (FIO): Shares are up 3.6% before the bell after being begun with a Buy at Bank of America-Merrill.

Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF): The movie studio behind both The Hunger Games and Twilight is rated no better than a Neutral at Goldman Sachs, whose objective is $18.

MaxLinear (MXL): JMP Securities starts Market Perform rated research on MXL.

Quiksilver (ZQK): The stock is a new Neutral at Goldman, whose target is $4.

Sealed Air (SEE): The Bubble Wrap maker gets resumed with an Overweight at JPMorgan. Its target price is $20.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: No Hollywood Ending for Netflix and Stock Upgrades: Starbucks Not Your Average Joe.)
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