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New Stock Coverage: American Tower Stands Tall


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

For a week that ended with subzero temperatures, and the eighth annual Freeze-Tag on Wall Street, stock markets sure were red hot. Dow Industrials (^DJI) rose 1.20% to continue their strong start to 2013. Ice was certainly nice for Harry Winston Diamond (HWD), which hit an 18-month high after the acquisition of its core operations and upbeat analyst comments. (Note to the South African who recently swallowed 220 diamonds: Easier ways of putting your money where your mouth is do exist.)

The high school graduation rate reached its best level since 1976, suggesting some progress in reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. Dell Inc. (DELL), founded by a Texan who dropped out of college, surged 18.2%, but his fellow Lone Star State native needs to show much more "Responsibility, remorse, remedy" after a perfunctory apology on Oprah. Those "3 Rs" are the watchwords of any successful PR campaign, as an industry giant who left us last Tuesday would attest.

Daniel Edelman unfortunately didn't live to see a new study from his firm that showed finance is the least trusted sector for a third straight year. With new evidence that the Fed fiddled while Rome burned, the universally low esteem is no surprise.

This morning in economics, December existing home sales are expected to tick up slightly from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, peak earnings week is upon us, with over 80 of the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) set to announce at some stage. Among today's results, due to include a quintet of key Dow (^DJI) components, are Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Coach (COH), CSX Corp. (CSX), Delta Air Lines (DAL), DuPont (DD), Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), Google (GOOG), International Business Machines (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), TD Ameritrade (AMTD),Texas Instruments (TXN), Travelers Companies (TRV), and Verizon (VZ).

American Tower (NYSE:AMT): AMT is initiated with an Outperform at Pacific Crest.

DISH Network (DISH): Shares are a new Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Imperial Oil (IMO): Canaccord has a Hold on IMO.

LinkedIn (LNKD): The stock, up sharply of late, is launched with a Neutral at Sterne Agee.

LivePerson (LPSN) The business services firm, which tumbled 2.33% in Friday's mostly up market, is rated no better than a new Neutral at Credit Suisse. Its price objective is $15.

Oil & Gas: Atlas Resource Partners (ARP) is begun with a Buy recommendation and $26 target price at MLV & Co, which has Holds on Constellation Energy (CEP), Eagle Rock Energy (EROC), and LinnCo (LNCO).

PBF Energy (PBF): Deutsche Bank picks up the stock at a Hold.

S&W Seed Co. (SANW): Shares are assigned an Overweight at Piper Jaffray, which sets an objective of $14.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Urban Outfitters Sent to Siberia and Stock Upgrades: Research In Motion on a Roll.)
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