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New Stock Coverage: Can Crocs Keep Head Above Water?

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

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On a day dedicated to honoring bubbles, Wall Street's emphatically popped. US stock markets continued their miserable month, with Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropping for a fifth straight day and the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) ending at a six-week low. The tone was set when Japan reported its worst ever annual trade deficit, posing the question of who in Tokyo was in worse shape at the turn of 2014 - Old Father Time, or the ceremonial new year baby? Considering that adult diapers will outsell children's over there in only six years, either way the Land of the Rising Sun may not have much of an economic future. Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) bucked a bad tape to gain 1.70% even as Hillary hailed Mary for shattering the "steel ceiling" on behalf of the girls at General Motors (NYSE:GM). Its rival Daimler (OTCMKTS:DDAIY) received an unexpected boost when protesters in Thailand, attempting a peace symbol, instead ended up paying inadvertent homage to Mercedes-Benz. Give peace a chance? Not if you're Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which just bought Gears of War in its ongoing attempts to get out of neutral. Over in Brazil, they set a Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) Beetle on fire at the birthplace of Pelé and "the beautiful game" astonishingly demonstrating against fútbol. Little wonder that soccer side Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) slid 1.60% after the team known as the "Red Devils" was unceremoniously given the boot. This as Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) increased exactly 6.66%, which will be fresh hell for William Ackman.

In terms of economic events that may move US stock markets today, the Conference Board's January consumer confidence index is expected to improve from its December 2013 rate when released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), DuPont (NYSE:DD), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), Ford (NYSE:F), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Siemens (NYSE:SI), VMware (NASDAQ:VMW), and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) are all due to release results as quarterly reporting season kicks into high gear.

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC): Cowen covers the energy outfit at Market Perform.

Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX): Crocs stock is picked up with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW): Atlantic Equities assigns an Overweight on the equity.

Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENTA): Robert W. Baird resumes coverage at Outperform ($41 price objective) amid what the brokerage calls its under-appreciated assets for ABT-450 to treat hepatitis C.

FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE): Topeka has a Hold on momentum darling FireEye, whose stock started the year on a tear.

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN): Shares are assigned an Outperform at Cowen.

International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF): Deutsche Bank begins Buy-rated research on IFF. Its price objective is $98.

Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC): Advertising giant Omnicom Group gets initiated with an Overweight at Barclays. Its target price on the stock is $85.

Parkway Properties (NYSE:PKY): Barclays starts the stock at Overweight with a target of $20.

See also:

Stock Upgrades: 'LUV' Is in the Air for Southwest Airlines

Stock Downgrades: Rotten Apple on Menu at Cook's Next Dinner With Carl
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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