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New Stock Coverage: Fossil Starts to Show Its Age

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

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The cover-as-contrary indicator worked a treat once more, with all three US indices ending up to snap out of a recent skid after USA Today warned "Investors Brace for Bigger Drop" on its front page. (Alas, the newspaper's owner Gannett (NYSE:GCI), which gapped down 0.57% after announcing earnings, failed to benefit.) With the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) enjoying a steady if unspectacular session, Jim Cramer's suddenly sober advice to Get Rich Carefully went down well at Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), which jumped 5.13% only hours before a book signing by the Mad Money host. Mad? Barnes & Noble is now officially a Banana Republic. US markets rose despite emerging markets now off to their worst start to a year since 1988. That was the year the famously fake Milli Vanilli was founded but, a quarter-century on, we won't be fooled again. RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) may now be less in thrall to the Milli Vanilli decade after dropping 4.84%. Is that ad the kiss of death? Certainly World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) -- on fire of late -- fell 4.49% after Hulk Hogan made a cameo. Elsewhere, it was a mixed bag for the Lindsay Lohan automobile portfolio. Porsche (OTCMKTS:POAHY) gained 3.43% on a broker boost, should she wish to replace her old one. But her Love Bug Herbie saw its owner Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) lose 0.28% on a rating reduction. Meanwhile Disney (NYSE:DIS), which deemed LiLo's precociousness highly problematic in that family-friendly film, advanced 1.51% ahead of today's earnings announcement.

Today in economics, the Institute for Supply Management releases its January services index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, with economists expecting an improvement on the prior month's pace. In earnings action, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pandora (NASDAQ:P), Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), and the aforementioned Walt Disney are all due to release results.

Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ:DECK): Citing both brand extension and widening demographic appeal, B. Riley & Co. begins the owner of Ugg boots at a Buy. Its price objective is $98.

Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL): The watch and accessories outfit, which surged some 6.06% in Tuesday's strong retail tape, is today rated no better than a Neutral at Sterne Agee.

Laboratory Corp. (NYSE:LH): Maxim Group launches Buy-rated research, and a $110 objective, on LH. Catalysts include rebounding molecular diagnostic growth amid favorable FDA (Food and Drug Administration) action of late.

Universal American (NYSE:UAM): Shares are assigned a Market Perform opinion at Leerink Swann, whose target price is $7.50.

Verint Systems (NASDAQ:VRNT): Credit Suisse covers the company at Outperform.

See also:

Stock Upgrades: Gray Television Should See Fifty Shades of Green

Stock Downgrades: Stern Warning for Sirius XM
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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