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New Stock Coverage: Activision Blizzard Set to Party Up a Storm


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

The week may have ended with Tom Petty's birthday - itself a mere 24 hours after an especially ominous Wall Street anniversary - but thus far this autumn, equities certainly aren't Free Fallin'. The end of the shutdown sent stocks up, with S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) issues finishing at fresh historic highs. For its part, a 3.23% advance in Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was enough to send that tech-heavy index to its highest close since September 8, 2000. (On that distant day Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) tried to crack the handheld computer market; this week it will attempt to do so again. Once more, with feeling.) With Gravity again dominant at the box office, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) defied it. Shares surged 15.99%, to boldly go where only William Shatner's Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) had gone before; ain't life grand? While its stock long ago stopped going to Pluto, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) - upgraded this morning - did get the go-ahead for a spaceship of its own. If Silicon Valley's corporate casual companies were dressed for success, more straitlaced types further east fared far less well. William Ackman, who wisely admitted after exiting JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) that "retail is not our strong suit," watched from afar as that beleaguered name nosedived another 13%. And International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), quintessential home of the man in the gray flannel suit, slumped 6.7% as its sales fell for a sixth straight quarter.

This morning in economics, analysts expect October existing home sales to slip from September's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, peak earnings week is upon us, with today's announcements due to include Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Hasbro (NYSE:HAS), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), and VMWare (NYSE:VMW).

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI): The gaming giant gets begun with a bullish Overweight at Barclays.

American Eagle Energy (OTCBB:AMZG): Northland Capital has a new Outperform on the small cap name. Its price objective is $4.

Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ:AAOI): Shares are picked up with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN): Northland Capital has a new Outperform, and $24 target price, on the stock.

Capitala Finance (NASDAQ:CPTA): The closed end fund is begun with a Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Equity Lifestyle Properties (NYSE:ELS): Robert W. Baird resumes the residential Real Estate Investment Trust with an Outperform recommendation and $40 target, saying it is a solid way to play systemic demographic trends.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ:NCLH): Credit Suisse assigns a new Outperform on the cruise company.

SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY): Shares, trading atop historic highs, are reinstated with a Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Summit Hotel (NYSE:INN): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch launches Neutral-rated research on INN.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Bad Day for Goodyear and Stock Upgrades: Unloved At Home, Apple Will Always Have Paris)
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