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New Stock Coverage: Avis Learns the Hard Way That Love Hertz


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

Lady Luck did her bit, only to find Mr. Market utterly missing in action. General Motors (NYSE:GM) named Mary Barra to replace Dan the man. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) - to be Fair, "Thy name is Vanity," Marissa Mayer - surged 3.47% to a six-year peak, and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), on a tear since belatedly naming a woman to its board, jumped 5.80% to a post-IPO best. Yet US stock markets still ended lower. Even GM, which lost 1.22% as investors opted against parking their money in the auto outfit. (One wonders why, with the gals better than us guys at parking the car.) As for the fellas, a beefcake calendar of taxi drivers saw Medallion Financial (NASDAQ:TAXI), which tumbled 10% last week, arrest its slide with a 0.82% advance. But the day definitely belonged to the distaff side. Retailer Zulily (NASDAQ:ZU), whose market is young moms, gained 4.91% even as it merited only a lukewarm 'Neutral' at the Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) unit long known as "Mother Merrill." That brokerage had an equally eventful session, simultaneously playing the role of Cassandra and Pollyanna.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, analysts expect November's budget deficit to widen at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Inditex (MCE:ITX), Joy Global (NYSE:JOY), Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW), and Nordson (NASDAQ:NDSN) are all due to release results. And Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) prices its initial public offering.

Brocade (NASDAQ:BRCD): Citigroup starts the stock at a Sell.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): BlackBerry stock is trading lower today after Citi transitioned analyst coverage with a Sell from the prior Neutral. BlackBerry stock has recently traded to 10-year lows.

Car Rental Companies: Deutsche Bank has only a Hold on Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR) but begins Buy-rated research on its archival Hertz Global Holdings(NYSE:HTZ). Its respective stock price objectives are $42 and $33.

Corning (NYSE:GLW): The glass giant gets assigned a new Neutral at Citigroup.

eHealth (NASDAQ:EHTH): Jefferies starts the stock at a Buy. Its target price is $56.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV): Citi has a fresh Buy on FFIV.

Networking Stocks: Mizuho has a new Neutral on and $23 target on Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) member Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), but is more upbeat on Buy-rated Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR), on which it has a $28 target. (Note that Cisco was separately started with a rare Sell rating at Citigroup, whose objective is $18.)

Ratings Agencies: McGraw-Hill Financial (NYSE:MHFI) and Moody's (NYSE:MCO) are each initiated with Outperforms at Credit Suisse.

Telecom Stocks: Mizuho has a Buy and $15 price objective on Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC). Nokia (NYSE:NOK), however, only rates a Neutral ($8 objective) amid uncertainty surrounding its strategy and cash deployment.

3D Printing: Jefferies begins Buys on ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE), 3D Systems(NYSE:DDD), and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), assigning respective price objectives of $72, $102, and $155.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR): The stock, a stellar performer thus far in December, is only a Neutral at Macquarie. Valuation issues loom understandably large.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: 3M Gets Out of a Sticky Situation and Stock Downgrades: W.R. Grace Isn't Amazing)
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