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New Stock Coverage: Don't Lose Your Shirt in Abercrombie & Fitch

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

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When the NYSE called upon the cast of General Hospital to kick off the month of April in equities, it proved an inspired move for the health care sector, which finished at historic highs. Most other stocks took a sick day, however, as markets backed off from last week's records in a light volume session.

Stocks that bucked the general malaise included Molson Coors (TAP), which surged 6.07% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the brewing behemoth to a Buy. (Although they say that you don't actually buy beer; you rent it.) President Obama, a prodigious user of the alcohol firm's pet slogan, can take some solace in its net profits on a day he went 2-for-22 on the basketball court.

Shakespeare said, "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown," but the head of strong British ales tend to be much more hangover-inducing than their watered down American counterparts. (Notwithstanding that our erstwhile icon Anheuser-Busch (BUD) is now based in Belgium, and reached a record peak on Monday.) With the best Will in the world, it's hard to take the bard seriously on the subject, since he has just been accused of illegally hoarding grain, malt, and barley.

Today in economics, factory orders for February are released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, spice stock McCormick (MKC) is trading lower ahead of the open after announcing earnings earlier this morning.

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF): The apparel firm, famous for its shirtless male models, is begun with an Underweight at Barclays.

Accenture (ACN): UBS covers the consulting company at a Buy.

Agenus (AGEN): The biotech is begun with an Outperform at JMP Securities.

Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD): Credit Suisse begins Neutral rated coverage on BWLD.

Clothing Companies: American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Gap Inc. (GPS) Limited Brands (LTD) Under Armour (UA), and Urban Outfitters (URBN) are all established with Overweights by Barclays, which has fresh Equal Weights on Aéropostale (ARO) and Finish Line (FINL).

Fossil (FOSL): Barclays has a fresh Equal Weight on the watchmaker.

Global Geophysical (GGS): GGS gets set a Hold at MLV & Co, whose target price is $2.50. Promising initiatives that the company is embarking on are already reflected in the current valuation, the broker believes.

Internet Stocks: Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), and Zynga (ZNGA) are all new Neutrals at UBS, which begins Buys on AOL Inc. (AOL), eBay Inc. (EBAY), Google (GOOG), IAC/InterActiveCorp, Yahoo (YHOO), and Yelp, Inc. (YELP). It starts Groupon (GRPN) at a Sell.

Limoneira (LMNR): Janney launches Buy rated research on the agribusiness firm, a strong performer yesterday.

Meadowbrook Insurance Group (MIG): Shares are set a Buy recommendation and $8.50 price objective at Compass Point, which says the company's results tend to be less volatile relative to competitors.

Molycorp (MCP): The rare earth metals miner, trading at lifetime lows, is launched with a Buy at DA Davidson. Shares are currently up about 2% as a result.

Online Travel: Expedia (EXPE) and Priceline.com (PCLN) are each picked up with Buys at UBS, which has a new Neutral on TripAdvisor (TRIP).

URS Corporation (URS): Shares are a new Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Video Games: Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is begun with a Buy at UBS, which has a new Neutral on Electronic Arts (EA).

(See also: Stock Upgrades: High Fives for F5 Networks and Stock Downgrades: Apple Is an April Fool.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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