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New Stock Coverage: Paris Is Happy With Hilton

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

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When a self-professed man of the people eats pizza with a fork that may be a sign Wall Street is about to have its silver spoon unceremoniously pulled out from its mouth. (Mack the Knife, meanwhile, fared far better, as his Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) stock options surged 4.38% on Friday alone.) The S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped again as US stock markets continued their sluggish start to the year, after equities enjoyed the mother of all bull markets in 2013. Puff Daddy, who took to Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) on Sunday and said "Everybody just keep drinking. It'll be over soon," was quite right as Jim Beam Inc. (NYSE:BEAM) jumped 24% the very next day. SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) surged 12%, but there were dark days in Sunnyvale as Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) dismissed Henrique de Castro after paying him $109 million for 14 months work. Marissa Mayer's policy of paying big bucks for 17-year-olds was fully vindicated by a contemporary at Target (NYSE:TGT), however. Kids these days; you can't teach 'em anything about tech. Saving Mr. Banks, the story of umbrella-totting Mary Poppins, was snubbed by Hollywood, and Citigroup (NYSE:C), whose logo is an umbrella, fell 4.5%, so the banks could use some saving. And it was a week of infamy in makeup. Because cosmetics company Nu Skin (NYSE:NUS) nose-dived 42% on pyramid-scheme allegations? Heck no. Because Jackass got an Academy Award nomination in Makeup and Hair Styling, even as the incomparable perms, toupees, and comb-overs of American Hustle were inexplicably overlooked in the same category.

There aren't any top-tier economic data due to move US stock markets today. Earnings season arrives in earnest, however, with Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD), Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), Cree (NASDAQ:CREE), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), SAP AG (NYSE:SAP), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), Travelers (NYSE:TRV), Unilever (NYSE:UN), Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), and Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) all releasing results.

ARAMARK Holdings (NYSE:ARMK): Shares are initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital, whose target price is $28. Catalysts include revenue growth and margin expansion.

Broadsoft (NASDAQ:BSFT): Mizuho begins Buy rated research ($36 price objective) on BSFT, citing the stock's compelling 50% discount to peers on a Price/Earnings basis.

Flexsteel (NASDAQ:FLXS): FLXS is a fresh Buy at Singular Research, whose price target is $42.50.

Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN): Hain Celestial, whose stock hit a historic high last week, is a new Market Perform with Wells Fargo amid understandable valuation issues.

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT): Party girl Paris Hilton is to be commended for choosing her family so carefully. Today the accommodation outfit, a recent initial public offering, is begun with a Buy at Citigroup, an Outperform at Credit Suisse, a Buy at Deutsche Bank, and an Overweight ($25 price objective) at JP Morgan. Shares are, accordingly, showing strength ahead of this morning's opening bell.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG): Intuitive Surgical stock gets begun with a Strong Buy at ISI Group, whose target price is $500.

Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG): PLUG is picked up at an Outperform by Cowen.

Turkcell (NYSE:TKC): Shares are an Overweight at HSBC Securities.

See also:

Stock Upgrades: Alcoa Proves You Don't Need Paris When There's Pittsburgh

Stock Downgrades: Apple Is Pooh-Poohed in Paris
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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