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New Stock Coverage: Can Kate Upton Help Target Stock Defy Gravity?


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

Wall Street's decision to take Monday off didn't turn out so well. Four-day work weeks, so popular in Europe, proved less profitable on this side of the Atlantic as the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped 0.32% in holiday-truncated trading. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) weighed on blue chips, tumbling 3.5% after releasing its quarterly earnings. (Clearly, the capitalist icon didn't sell as many $42-per-pop Occupy Wall Street posters as expected.) Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Steve Jobs is getting his own postage stamp, and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), up 2.2%, made a multi-billionaire of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum, who was once on food stamps. Mark Zuckerberg may soon be too, for he spent $19 billion -- literally, every last penny he has -- on the application. This, as clothing company Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), outfitters of penniless college dropouts, agreed to increase its hourly minimum wage to $10. On Wednesday in Sochi, figure skater Ashley Wagner was distinctly unimpressed with her score for dancing to Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." That same day thousands of miles away, diamond seller Zale Corp (NYSE:ZLC) was bought by Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG), sending its stock up 43.52% for the week.

There aren't any top-tier economic data due today, but corporate earnings announcements are expected out of Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW), Hertz Global (NYSE:NTZ), and HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HSBC).

AES Corporation (NYSE:AES): JPMorgan has a new Neutral, and $16 price objective, on the electric utility name.

Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ): Shares are covered at Overweight by JPMorgan.

H&R Block (NYSE:HRB): Credit Suisse assigns an upbeat Outperform on the tax preparation titan.

Lifetime Brands (NASDAQ:LCUT): The company behind brands including Cuisinart and Farberware is a fresh Buy at Brean Capital, whose target price is $23. Licensing arrangements could continue to improve revenues, the broker believes.

Paragon Shipping (NASDAQ:PRGN): PRGN is picked up with a Buy and $12 objective at Jefferies.

Target (NYSE:TGT): Supermodel Kate Upton's zero-gravity bikini is now available at Target, but the retailer still rates no better than a Neutral ($54 target) with Sterne Agee. Nonetheless, the stock is currently up ahead of this morning's opening bell.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ): Barclays begins the Dow member -- upgraded elsewhere today -- at Overweight with a $55 target.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO): Shares, on an extended honeymoon since Marissa Mayer took over, are today assigned an unusual Strong Sell at Standpoint Research.

See also:

Stock Upgrades: Good Things Are on Tap at Molson Coors (MVPRO article)

Stock Downgrades: 3D Systems at Sixes and Sevens After Analyst Does a 180 (MVPRO article)
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