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New Stock Coverage: Bulls Run on Matador Resources


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

It appears the death of equities, like that of George Soros, was greatly exaggerated. The Dow (^DJI), fresh from suffering its worst swoon since June, is now positive for the month of April after successive gains. Blue chips were boosted by a 1.68% post-earnings increase in Caterpillar (CAT), with the company that just sponsored a Professional Bull Riders show proving its own animal spirits are anything but amateur.

Even an erroneous Associated Press Twitter report of explosions at the White House failed to prevent markets ending up, although the fact that a hacked 7-year-old medium can so swiftly fell a 167-year-old news organization is awfully ominous. The AP was founded in May 1846, a key month in the sorry saga of The Dinner Party. Sorry, The Donner Party.

Yesterday Kentucky Fried Chicken was equally unappetizing, with shares of owner Yum Brands (YUM) sliding 1.70% on a ratings reduction. A new study - clearly conducted by someone who never set foot in a New York cinema - showed an average movie ticket costs $7.94. The $8.00 per month package on offer at Netflix (NFLX) surely represents better value, after that stock surged 24.44% to top the entire S&P 500 Index (^GSPC).

Hump Day of peak earnings week is upon us with Aflac (AFL), Barclays (BCS), Boeing (BA), Credit Suisse (CS), Eli Lilly (LLY), Ford (F), France Telecom (FTE), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Nintendo (NTDOY), Procter & Gamble (PG), Sprint Nextel (S), Qualcomm (QCOM), and Zynga (ZNGA) among a multitude of companies releasing results.

Aéropostale (ARO): The clothing company is picked up with a Positive at Susquehanna.

American Water Works (AWK): Global Hunter establishes Buy rated research on AWK.

Brookfield Office Properties (BPO): Wells Fargo begins BPO at a Buy.

ConocoPhillips (COP): The oil giant is established with a Hold at Cowen, which says improving margins are balanced out by increased borrowing and escalating costs.

GNC Holdings (GNC): Robert W. Baird resumes the vitamin retailer at Outperform and sets a $52 target price. Catalysts include the rollout of the company's Gold Card program.

EarthLink (ELNK): ELNK is assigned a Hold at Jefferies.

Matador Resources (NYSE:MTDR): SunTrust starts the independent oil and gas operator at a Buy.

NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP): NPSP is a new Outperform at Oppenheimer, whose price objective is $18 on a stock it says can continue to reap benefits from its twin principal products Gattex and Natpara.

Perrigo (PRGO): The consumer healthcare company is covered with a Market Perform at Leerink.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Red Robin a Far Better Bet Than Twitter and Stock Downgrades: Apple Gets Totally Turned Over)
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