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New Stock Coverage: Autobytel No Longer Partying Like It's 1999


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

The frothy initial public offering of online outfit Autobytel (NASDAQ:ABTL) in March 1999 was arguably Exhibit "A" for the Internet boom. Today's news is a lot less earth-shattering, with the company being assigned only a lukewarm neutral. Shares fell 4.89% on Friday, slumping in tandem with the market overall. Even so, its stock is still up a remarkable 205.56% in the past 12 months. The company releases results for its first quarter on Thursday, May 1.
As for last week's market action, the most iconic address in all of finance attracted enormous attention. Unfortunately, nothing that occurred inside the hallowed halls of the NYSE came close to engendering the same excitement of One Wall Street. Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was frozen in place for the first time in more than a dozen years, while the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) edged off all of 0.08%. Some shares provided more drama. Soccer side Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) slumped after appointing as its caretaker manager a staff member who is still fit enough to play professionally at the advanced age of 40. Ryan Giggs attributes his remarkable longevity to yoga, but Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) enjoyed no halo effect. The Vancouver company saw its stock slim down even as its CEO precipitously plumped up. (Elsewhere in Canada, another kind of bulging middle was more widely welcomed.) LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) tumbled 10% as its heavily shorted stock was lampooned by a 7'1" sportsman. This, as the online Rolodex was bypassed altogether by a tiny tot who instead went directly to Michelle Obama.
Today in economics, March pending home sales are expected to tick up from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the corporate front, another full week for first-quarter earnings announcements kicks off with the endlessly contentious Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) releasing results after the closing bell.
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes an insurance outfit and sports store in addition to Autobytel.

Autobytel: Ascendiant Capital Markets has a Hold on today's headline stock.
Corium International (NASDAQ:CORI): The biotech is begun at Outperform by FBR Capital, whose price objective is $11. The company's tamsulosin patch offers potential pipeline promise, according to the broker.
Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB): Bank of America Merrill Lynch launches Buy-rated research. Its target price is $64.
Rolls-Royce (OTCMKTS:RYCEY): Canaccord Genuity covers the company at a Buy.
Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI): Shares are a new Neutral ($21 target) at Goldman Sachs, but Morgan Stanley (Overweight with a $27 objective) is more upbeat.
Scientific Games (NASDAQ:SGMS): The stock is currently up 2.65% before the bell after starting with a bullish Overweight at JP Morgan, whose price target is $16.
United Insurance (NASDAQ:UIHC): Wells Fargo picks up the property and casualty insurance outfit at Outperform.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Deckers Outdoor Is a Shoo-In

Stock Downgrades:
DreamWorks Awakes to Monday Morning Nightmare
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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