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New Stock Coverage: Dog Days Ahead at Central Garden & Pet?

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

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The planet's biggest party starts today, but Wall Street was more like a wake yesterday, with stocks dropping amid iffy economic data and renewed concerns regarding Europe. Ann Inc. (ANN), which literally forces its models to bid farewell to arms, slid 7.93% but there were thumbs up for ARM Holdings (ARMH), which finished at a fresh high and scored another analyst upgrade this morning.

In a week when the BRIC coiner called it quits, the Manchester United (MANU) fanatic can certainly afford to retire with that stock surging 4.86% to a post-IPO peak. Speaking of soccer, François Hollande and Angela Merkel just attended a "friendly" match between France and Germany. Present in the crowd, and booed mercilessly, was ex-German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher, who in 1982 knocked out two teeth and cracked three ribs of a French opponent in a brutal assault. With such displays of sporting harmony, it's no wonder that the European Union is in such trouble. Today in Belgium - where American flags are the one growth industry, apparently - a two-day summit concludes, for any Brussels bureaucrats unfortunate enough to be there rather than in Rio.

A relatively light week on the economic calendar comes to a close with December wholesale inventories due to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. By contrast, it's been another frenzied five days for corporate earnings announcements, with some 17% of the S&P 500 (^GSPC) releasing results. Today's important announcements include AOL Inc. (AOL), Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN), Buckeye Partners (BPL), CBOE Holdings (CBOE), Louisiana-Pacific (LPX), Moody's (MCO), and Nissan Motor (PINK:NSANY).

Celgene (CELG): JMP Securities starts the stock at Outperform.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT): Shares are assigned a lukewarm Neutral at SunTrust, whose price target is $10.

DSW Inc. (DSW): The designer shoe seller is a started with a Buy at Sterne Agee. Its price objective is $75.

Motorola Solutions (MSI): Wells Fargo establishes Outperform rated research, with a price objective in the range of $68 to $70.

VeriFone Systems (PAY): The stock is picked up with a Hold at Jefferies.

Zebra Technologies (ZBRA): Wells has a fresh Market Perform on ZBRA.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Stock up on Activision Blizzard Ahead of Winter Storm and Stock Downgrades: Headaches Keep Coming for Skullcandy.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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