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New Stock Coverage: Southern Comfort Sends Brown-Forman Shares North

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

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If you're happy and you know it, raise your hand. Admittedly, Ms. Yellen's mirth occurred 30 minutes before the market opened; a scant seven hours after she was sworn in, investors everywhere were swearing at all and sundry. This as the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), now down 7.3% this year, endured its seventh triple-digit loss of 2014. As for the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX), it is off to its worst start to a February since 1933. (A year that turned out to be awesome for equities, even during the depths of the Depression, so snap judgments are still best avoided.) That is all ancient history, of course, and Ford (NYSE:F) -- whose founder famously said, "History is bunk" -- may soon be too after tumbling 2.74% for its seventh drop in eight sessions. General Motors (NYSE:GM) fell 2.30% on similarly awful auto sales, but Chrysler bucked the trend with an impressive 8% increase in the same metric. Moral of the story? If you're going to sell out -- and who could begrudge a nice kid from Duluth, Minnesota a few extra pennies? -- pick a winner. So, well done, Bob Dylan. Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) surged 7.22% to top the entire NYSE, and this on the day Bill Ackman launched a website titled "Herbalife Is a Pyramid." Hedge fund billionaires are probably above anything as petty as schadenfreude. But, were he so inclined, Bill could take some comfort in Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) slumping 4.73% to a fresh 52-week low. Ruth Handler, great-aunt of Ackman's arch-enemy Dan Loeb, created Barbie and co-founded the company.

Today in economics, December 2013 factory orders are expected to contract from the previous month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, expect earnings announcements out of Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA), Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY), Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI), and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS).

Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE): Sterne Agee starts the Photoshop owner at a Buy.

Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.B): The spirits stock, whose offerings include Southern Comfort, is begun with a Buy at Deutsche Bank. Its price objective is $88.

Check Point Software (NASDAQ:CHKP): Shares are covered with a Buy assessment and $80 target price at Sterne Agee.

Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX): JPMorgan has a fresh Overweight ($78 objective) on the surging stock, an analyst darling of late.

GlycoMimetics (NASDAQ:GLYC): GLYC gets assigned a Buy at Jefferies, whose target is $13.

LifeLock (NYSE:LOCK): Sterne Agee launches LOCK at a Buy.

Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF): The entertainment name is a new Buy at Topeka.

Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG): Topeka also begins Buy-rated research on the stock.

Porsche (OTCMKTS:POAHY): Berenberg picks up the last name in automotive luxury at a Buy.

Starwood Property Trust (NYSE:STWD): Shares are a Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Stealthgas (NASDAQ:GASS): Barclays begins Overweight-rated coverage, and a $13 objective, on the shares.

See also:

Stock Upgrades: Pfizer Is in the Money on 42nd Street

Stock Downgrades: This Week's Beatlemania No Boost for Volkswagen
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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