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New Stock Coverage: Fed's Top-Secret Videoconference Perking Up Polycom?


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

Call it The Great Gatsby curse. Yesterday marked the 89th anniversary of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. The author, who made an incredibly unlucky $13.13 over the course of his career, evidently returned to wreck unfortunate havoc on equities. Much like that iconic cover, investors were reduced to tears, with Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) enduring its worst day in two-and-a-half years. (Accordingly, Kleenex maker Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) -- whose hankies also arrived on the scene in the middle of the Roaring Twenties -- hit the highest level in its entire history.) In November 2011, the last time Nasdaq nosedived like this, Athens reached its nadir. Yesterday of all days, with timing worthy of a Greek tragedy, the country officially completed its comeback. "Greece Returns to Bond Markets With a Bang," said the Associated Press, evidently unaware that a bomb had just exploded at the national bank. With investors clamoring for the men in white coats, pharmacy stock Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) advanced 8.44%. Alas, there was no halo effect for its competitor Walgreen (NYSE:WAG), with the owner of Duane Reade drugstores dropping 3.24%. The company just made an irate bag lady of a notorious Hollywood diva. (A good thing, too, for their plastic sacks are legendarily awesome.) Ms. Heigl, however, still strikes me as much more of a Louis Vuitton (OTCMKTS:LVMUY) kinda gal, and as such she will be pleased to know that the last name in luxury advanced an impressive 2.95% amid the mayhem.
Today in economics, April's preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey is seen as increasing slightly from the final figure for March at 9:55 a.m. EDT. In earnings action, big banks JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) each released results earlier this morning.
Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE:ACRE): Shares are assigned a Market Perform and $14 target price at FBR Capital.
Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN): SunTrust starts the tech name at a Buy. Its price objective is $25.
PNM Resources (NYSE:PNM): PNM gets established at an Outperform ($30 objective) by RBC Capital, which has high hopes for its earnings and increasing dividends.
Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM): This week it emerged that the Fed conducted a furtive cloak-and-dagger videoconferencing confab on unemployment. Today, industry leader Polycom is picked up with a Neutral at SunTrust. The price target is $15.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM): ISI Group gives the tech stock a Strong Buy rating.
RailroadsCSX Corp (NYSE:CSX) is assigned an upbeat Outperform at Macquarie but Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) rates only Underperform.
Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS): RMBS is resumed with a Buy at The Benchmark Company, whose price objective is $16.
Tech Stocks: SunTrust begins Buys on both Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), a key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, and Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR). Its respective objectives are $27 and $30.
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TKMR): Shares are an Outperform ($30 target) at RBC Capital, which says its Ebola virus opportunities offer potential promise.
Zillow (NASDAQ:Z): Susquehanna starts the online real estate outfit at a Positive. Its target is $115.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Shutterfly Has a Kodak Moment

Stock Downgrades:
President Obama's Shopping Spree Can't Save The Gap
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