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New Stock Coverage: Check Out Marriott's Five-Star Welcome


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

Twenty-four hours after the market indulged in a blingy Breakfast at Tiffany's (TIF), Wall Street's free lunch was summarily wiped from the menu. While impressive earnings from the upscale jeweler helped send blue chips up 106 points on Tuesday, a serious bout of subsequent indigestion saw the Dow (^DJI) drop 106 points on Wednesday for its worst day in weeks.

Congress, those hard-working devils, remained on recess but pork still managed to find its way on the menu as hog processor Smithfield Foods (SFD) surged 28.42% after being bought by Beijing for $4.7 billion. Little did Tricky Dick know, when he fumbled awkwardly with Communist chopsticks in 1972, what he had wrought on the heartland of capitalism.

Elsewhere, analysts took SeaWorld's (SEAS) march of the penguins a little too literally, with a flock of like-minded squishy 'Hold' initiations sending Shamu swan-diving 4.14%.

Today in economics, April pending home sales are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In corporate earnings action, Big Lots (BIG), China Ming Yang Wind Power (MY), Costco (COST), Esterline Technologies (ESL), Fred's, Inc. (FRED), Guess (GES), Joy Global (JOY), Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF), Royal Bank of Canada (RY), and Sanderson Farms (SAFM) are all due to report results.

AT&T (T): BMO Capital begins the Dow (^DJI) component at a Market Perform.

Bright Horizons Family Solutions (BFAM): Shares are assigned a Buy at Jefferies.

Cintas (CTAS): Jefferies begins Buy rated coverage on CTAS.

Drug Stocks: Suntrust Robinson Humphrey resumes Buy-rated research on Allergan (AGN), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), and Forest Labs (FRX). It has a new Neutral on Dow member Merck (MRK) and rates fellow blue chip Pfizer (PFE) a Reduce.

eMagin Corporation (EMAN): The semiconductor stock gets picked up at Perform by Oppenheimer, which would wait for an improvement in yield before building meaningful positions in the name.

Hotel Stocks: Hyatt Hotels (NYSE:H) is an Equal Weight at Evercore, which has upbeat Overweights on Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) and Starwood Hotels (NYSE:HOT).

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (LXRX): Shares are launched with a Buy at Jefferies.

Pantry (PTRY): Stephens starts the stock at Equal Weight.

Telecoms: Sprint Nextel (S) and Dow member Verizon (VZ) are both begun with Outperforms at BMO Capital.

Vail Resorts (MTN): Evercore establishes an Equal Weight on the Colorado ski and resort company.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Facebook Finds Friends and Stock Downgrades: AutoNation Hits a Speed Bump.)
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