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New Stock Coverage: World Wrestling Entertainment Is Real, and It's Spectacular

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

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Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) yesterday scaled summits not seen since the tech bubble's wild-eyed optimism at the turn of the millennium. (Specifically July 17, 2000, the day a young, western-trained ophthalmologist named Bashar al-Assad assumed office in Syria amid high hopes he would be a lot less dictatorial than his dad. How's that one working out?) Alas, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) has recently hit a few potholes on the road to Damascus, and its conversion into an under-performing index relative to rivals continued apace, dragged down by a 3.28% plunge in International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM). Otis owner United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) did its best to give blue chips a lift with a solid 0.98% advance, and this on the day Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) found love in an elevator. Steve Jobs used to fire people in elevators at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Were the tech titan still alive he would likely have given Carl Icahn his pink slip long ago. Instead, the activist investor took to CNBC to say, on seven separate occasions, that buying the stock was a "no brainer." (An unfortunate turn of phrase for a man who used the wrong stock symbol in announcing an additional investment in the Cupertino king on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR)). And the financial world was abuzz about a Brooklyn-born babe who starts her new job on February 1. But enough about Maria Bartiromo, for it was Janet Yellen who opted to sit at the head of the Fed's table as a "chair."

The pace of economic data that may move US stock markets picks up after a quiet start to the week, with December 2013 existing home sales and last month's leading indicators each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, expect Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR), Baxter International (NYSE:BAX), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR), Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), and Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) to release results.

Diamond Resorts (NYSE:DRII): JMP Securities starts the stock at Outperform.

Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC): Marriott Vacations stock is assigned an Outperform, also at JMP Securities.

Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK): Deutsche Bank begins Buy-rated research on Splunk stock.

Tech Stocks: Deutsche Bank has Holds on MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR), that poster child for the tech wreck, Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), yesterday's star turn, and Workday (NYSE:WDAY). It is more bullish on Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) and Tableau Software (NYSE:DATA), both Buy-rated.

World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE): Shout out to Seinfeld for today's title. Laugh all you want at the famously phony fights of World Wrestling Entertainment. (The word "Entertainment" is indeed revealing.) Its shares have surged a spectacular 145.54% in the past year alone, having hit a historic peak only last week. Today it is begun with an upbeat Buy at The Benchmark Company, which says catalysts include the renegotiation of fees for TV rights.

See also:

Stock Upgrades: Netflix Doesn't Need Robin Hood When It Has Robin Wright


Stock Downgrades: Brazil's World Cup Year Is No Time to Own GOL
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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