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New Stock Coverage: Don't Be Naughty -- Buy Nice

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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 (INDEXSP:.INX) snapped a five-session skid, with stocks thus avoiding a lump of coal in their stockings on a day that was all about Diamond (NASDAQ:DMND), diamonds, and Dimon. (With an honorable mention for Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG), which bucked a rating reduction to end up.) A broker boost saw the snack stock surge 11.02%, while similarly bullish research sent diamond seller Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE) up 2.66%. As for JPMorgan's (NYSE:JPM) Jamie, he went to Washington in an attempt to hold Holder's attention.

Across the Atlantic, several European equities scored good gains. Clothing company Hennes & Mauritz (OTCMKTS:HNNMY), from Stieg Larsson's snowy homeland of Sweden, jumped 6.98% to a fresh best. (Although, trust me, you do not want to be The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in China right now.) And Vestas Wind (OTCMKTS:VWDRY), based in nearby Denmark, advanced 7.55% after winning an order for 200 wind turbines in Texas, where they know how to go long wind.

Today in economics, analysts expect an uptick in the final University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment survey for September at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL), and Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) all released results earlier this morning.

Building Materials: FBR Capital assigns Market Performs on Masco (NYSE:MAS) and Simpson Manufacturing (NYSE:SSD) but is more optimistic on Outperform-rated pair Owens Corning (OC) and Trex Co. (NYSE:TREX).

Cytec Industries (NYSE:CYT): The specialty chemicals company is started at Outperform by Oppenheimer. Its target price is $96.

NETGEAR (NASDAQ:NTGR): Raymond James covers the communication equipment company at Outperform.

Nice Systems Ltd (NASDAQ:NICE): The software stock is a new Outperform with Wedbush.

Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL): A troubled week for cruise companies ends with an upbeat Buy initiation for RCL at Investec. The price target is $46.

Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG): The bling king is a new Buy at Brean Capital.

Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM): Susquehanna has a new Neutral, and $40 price objective, on the upscale grocer.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX): Pacific Crest picks the company up at Outperform.

Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT): Shares are begun with a Buy rating and $129 objective at Maxim Group, which says it can capture market share in the industrial and applied space.

Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL): Credit Suisse covers the company at Outperform and establishes a $22 target.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Nothing but Net Profits for Nike and Stock Downgrades: Avis Hurt by Hertz Crash.)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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