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New Stock Coverage: Don't Be a 'Jony'-Come-Lately on Apple

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

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Well, that was ironic. With all Wall Street fixated on Michael Lewis and his 350 millionths of a second, yesterday's markets moved on minutes from three weeks ago, when six months was the only time line occupying investors' minds. Thus did the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) advance an impressive triple digits after the Fed finally fleshed out details from its confab on March 19. To Tulip Mania we can now add another flowery bubble inspired by April showers: sprouting alfalfas. This, as the class B warrants of S&W Seed Company (NASDAQ:SANWZ) surged 40.15% to top all Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) issues by a country mile. (Weed and seed; remember that rhyme and you'll be rich, especially as we are in National Poetry Month.) A sudden surge in orders sent Goodyear Tire (NASDAQ:GT) and Cooper Tire (NYSE:CTB) up a respective 3.48% and 3.58%. For this, we American investors can thank our Russian comrades. Moving from Karl Marx to Carl Icahn, the activist investor saw his Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX) -- the first quarter's top S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) stock -- advance an additional 4.30%. Mr. Marx's comedian cousin Groucho famously opined, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." Tell Alcoa (NYSE:AA) about it. Stock in the commodity company, fresh from gaining 3.75%, has now risen roughly 55% since being booted from the blue-chip bourse back in September.
 
Today's quarterly earnings announcements are due to include Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR), and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD).
 
AcelRx (NASDAQ:ACRX): The pharmaceutical firm, whose shares surged 9.16% yesterday, is a fresh Buy at Jefferies.
 
Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): With Apple's design guru Jonathan Ive getting ever more power, Deutsche Bank is arguably a bit of a Johnny-come-lately to the party. It only begins coverage today on a stock already excessively followed by Wall Street research departments. The rating is a bullish Buy, with a price objective of $650. Shares are, accordingly, showing strength before the bell.
 
Nutrisystem (NASDAQ:NTRI): Shares are a new Buy at B. Riley & Co, whose target price is $20. The 2014 diet season is showing initial strength, the broker notes.
 
Questar (NYSE:STR): Bank of America Merrill Lynch launches coverage at Underperform. Its target is $22.
 
Shoe Stocks: Buckingham Research begins Buys on Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX) ($20 target), Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ:DECK) ($92), and Steve Madden (NASDAQ:SHOO) ($44), but assigns only an Underperform and $29 price objective on Skechers USA (NYSE:SKX).
 
Tech StocksHewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) (Buy) and International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) (Hold) are established by Deutsche Bank, whose respective objectives are $40 and $200.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Sheryl Sandberg's Staying, So Lean In to Facebook

Stock Downgrades: Bed Bath & Beyond Set to Get Soaked
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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