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New Stock Coverage: Biotechs Anemic? Amgen Is Tougher Than Iron


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

A Cold War anthem proved eerily prophetic yesterday. After President Obama rattled sabers with the Russians in a speech, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped 99 points, or one for each of Nena's Red Balloons. Our commander in chief took to Flanders Fields, famous for its red poppies, to caution against ignoring "the lessons that are written in the cemeteries of this continent." Thus did a rising tide of red ink envelop Wall Street on what was an extremely inauspicious day to go public. Alas, King Digital Entertainment (NYSE:KING) did exactly that, and - with its Candy Crush Saga the biggest one-hit wonder since our aforementioned German songstress - its stock slid 15.56%. Among other equities on the move, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) slumped 6.94% after buying virtual-reality firm Oculus, a deal Mark Zuckerberg described as his way of "getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow." Which seems an odd thing to say about a technology so antediluvian you can pick up its 23-year-old inspiration for $4.48 on eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY). (Only 80 minutes left, mind you.) The Facebook founder clearly had his beer goggles on in buying those goggles. And, on a day Heineken (OTCMKTS:HEINY) drowned its sorrows, that wasn't a great idea.
Today in economics, pending home sales for February are expected to contract from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, expect announcements out of Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), and Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG).
Active Power (NASDAQ:ACPW): Roth Capital rolls out Buy-rated research with a $5 target price.
Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ:ASBC): Shares are a new Neutral at DA Davidson.
Biotechnology: Morgan Stanley establishes Equal-Weights on Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN), assigning respective price objectives of $150, $75, and $320. It's more upbeat on Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), whose Epogen anemia treatment made it an industry leader, and Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB). Both are rated Overweight, with target prices of $140 and $395. See here for more on the recently battered sector.
Extreme Networks (NASDAQ:EXTR): The stock is an Outperform at Raymond James, whose objective is $8.
ICON plc (NASDAQ:ICLR): Credit Suisse covers the company at Outperform ($55 target.)
King Digital Entertainment: After yesterday's horrific IPO, the stock is a new Neutral at Sterne Agee.
RingCentral (NYSE:RING): Hailing the company's cloud software capabilities, Macquarie has an Outperform and $24 target.
Roundy's (NYSE:RNDY): Bank of America Merrill Lynch is sending stock in the grocery store owner up 3.08% this morning after launching Buy-rated research. Its price objective is $8.
U.S. Physical Therapy (NYSE:USPH): Shares are an Overweight at Stephens.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Mr. Market, an Aging Bull, Needs the Grey Lady

Stock Downgrades: When It Rains, It Pours for Citigroup

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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