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New Stock Coverage: Cloud Peak Energy Reigns Supreme


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

Yesterday millionaires made a killing in Congress. On Wall Street? Not so much, to be frank. (Or rather Dodd-Frank, to cite but one reason why.) Shares continued their sluggish start to the new year, with the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ending down ahead of this morning's punk payroll report. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), off a respective 0.47% and 0.64%, dragged blue chips lower amid more awful news for the personal computer industry. Indeed Dell is apparently edging ever closer to extinction, this from a stock whose astonishing 89,374% increase in the 1990′s made it the top stock during the decade that Bill Clinton was busy building his "bridge to the 21st century." Better step aside, Bubba. Chris Christie can take it from here. The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) noted that bath tubs are now out, but with Bath & Body Works owner L Brands (NYSE:LB) falling 4.05% and an unloved Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) tumbling an S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX)-worst 12.46%, that is for the best. In an otherwise terrible retail tape, Costco (NASDAQ:COST), up 3.91% on its impressive comparable-store sales, was a rare winner. (Like all the best jokes, it's funny cause it's true.) If its shareholders were laughing all the way to the bank, it must have been a Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), which advanced another 0.52% to hit the highest level in its history. This after a would-be robber of one of its branches was turned aside on account of his illegible handwriting. Still, when it comes to indecipherable scrawl, it is worth remembering - especially on this, the first anniversary of his nomination as our Treasury Secretary - that Lew's on first for that particular prize.

In this morning's economic action, November wholesale inventories are expected to contract from the prior month's pace when they are announced at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Indian outsourcing and information technology outfit Infosys (NYSE:INFY) beat Street estimates when it released its results earlier today.

Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE): A bullish analyst initiation for the fast food firm, not its first this week. Today the stock is begun with a Buy at Buckingham Research.

Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE:CLD): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Perform at FBR Capital, which calls Cloud Peak Energy the best coal stock in its entire coverage universe.

Gartner (NYSE:IT): The stock is initiated with a Sector Perform rating and $73 price objective at RBC Capital.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC): Credit Suisse has an Outperform on HMHC. Its target price is $21.

Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OREX): Shares are assigned a Buy ($9 target) at WallachBeth, which sees FDA approval of a key product by June 2014.

Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI): RBC Capital resumes Outperform-rated research on Robert Half International stock.

Tower International (NYSE:TOWR) Shares are an Outperform at FBR Capital, whose objective is $28.

See also:

Stock Upgrades: There's Nothing Two-Faced About Janus Capital Group This Month

Stock Downgrades: Polar Vortex? Las Vegas Sands Visited by the Curse of 'The Cooler'
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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