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New Stock Coverage: Blue Nile No Pyramid Scheme

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

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The S&P 500 Index (^GSPC), notwithstanding Thursday's stumble, has just concluded its best January since 1997. Or its best January since 1989. Or its best January since 1987. (Hillary would no doubt say, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" but sticklers for the facts feel compelled to point out that the answer is in fact '97, the month of her husband's second inaugural.)

Time Warner Cable (TWC), downgraded this morning, imploded 11.28% in its worst showing since October 2011. The company of course recently sapped the "will to live" of a USS Enterprise commander, so Patrick Stewart can take some satisfaction in its present plight. Especially if he spends his time playing the Star Trek game of WMS Industries (WMS), which surged some 51.19% to easily top the entire NYSE.

Constellation Brands (STZ), owner of Blackstone Winery, slumped 17.39%, but Blackstone Group (BX) fared far better, jumping 6.08% to a fresh 52-week peak. Also advancing to a new high, on upbeat analyst comments, was Rolls Royce (PINK:RYCEY). Ironic, since Prince Charles just ditched his for a humble subway ride. The future king, famous for crooked teeth as well as a stiff upper lip, hopefully also owns stock options in Align Technology (ALGN). The braces behemoth surged 7.14% after attracting positive research chatter.

Today at 9:55 a.m. Eastern, the University of Michigan releases its final figure for January consumer confidence and at 10:00 a.m. we get both December construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's January manufacturing data. In earnings action, another frenzied week for fourth-quarter earnings announcements concludes with Chevron (CVX), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Mattel (MAT), Merck (MRK), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU), Newell Rubbermaid (NWL), and Tyson Foods (TSN) all due to report results.

Atlas Resource Partners (ARP): Citigroup picks up the limited partnership at a Neutral and sets it a $23 target price.

Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE): The online jeweler is jumping 3% before today's opening bell on an Outperform initiation with Wells Fargo.

C.R. Bard (BCR): BCR is begun with a Neutral at Mizuho, whose price objective is $94. A constrained Price/Earnings ratio prevents the broker from being more upbeat at the present time.

Edwards Lifesciences (EW): Janney Capital launches Buy rated coverage on the company.

Guangshen Railway (GSH): HSBC Securities has an Overweight on GSH.

Oil Stocks: Credit Suisse assigns new Neutrals on National Oilwell (NOV) and Oceaneering International (OII). It establishes Oil States (OIS) at Outperform.

Shutterfly (SFLY): Wells starts SFLY at a Market Perform.

Workday (WDAY): Shares are initiated with an Equal Weight by Barclays.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Profits Predicted at Oracle and Stock Downgrades: Anheuser-Busch Cries Into Its Beer.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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