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New Stock Coverage: E.T. Phone Home? No -- T.I. Call Rome!

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

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Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped by triple digits with markets seriously spooked by the prospect, since confirmed, of the first government shutdown since 1996. Yes, yes, that year saw stocks surge in an outbreak of "irrational exuberance," but when memories aren't long, investors go short. The angst wasn't confined to this side of the Atlantic as Italians braced for their 62nd government since 1945. This as Reuters reported Silvio Berlusconi "was seen carrying pet dog Dudu over his shoulder from the car into the house." Dude's crazy like a fox, so it was probably just his subliminal dog-whistle way of telling us to buy Hush Puppies owner Wolverine World Wide (NYSE:WWW), for the footwear firm bucked a brutal tape to end up 0.57%. (The country is shaped like a boot, after all.) And Right Said Fred had it about right when singing, "I'm too sexy for my shirt," for intimate apparel outfit Frederick's of Hollywood (OTCMKTS:FOHL) surged some 16.67%. Silvio, of course, similarly knows all about losing that item of clothing.

Today in economics, a slippage is seen in both September's Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index and August construction spending, each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Actuant (NYSE:ATU), Global Payments (NYSE:GPN), Sonic Automotive (NYSE:SAH), and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) are all due to report results.

Abiomed (ABMD): The medical appliance outfit, up 1.65% in yesterday's down market, is initiated with a Speculative Buy at The Benchmark Company. Its Impella offers promise for patients requiring temporary circulatory support, and the brokerage assigns a price objective of $25.

Approach Resources (NASDAQ:AREX): Brean Capital covers the company at a Buy and sets a $34 price objective.

Carbo Ceramics (NYSE:CRR): Shares are a new Neutral at DA Davidson, whose price target is $102.

Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA): The cable company is launched with a Buy opinion and $92 target at Jefferies.

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA): Evercore has a new Equal Weight on NWSA. Its price objective is $18.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN): NLSN is a new Overweight at JPMorgan, whose target is $43.

Orbitz (NYSE:OWW): RBC Capital resumes the online travel titan at Sector Perform.

PC Connection (NASDAQ:PCCC): Canaccord Genuity picks the stock up at a Buy and assigns it an $18 objective.

Sunshine Heart (NASDAQ:SSH): Benchmark has a Speculative Buy and $16 target price on SSH amid high hopes for its C-Pulse Heart Assist system.

Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI): (Hat tip to Steven Spielberg for today's headline.) T.I. shares are surging in today's European trading after Goldman began bullish Buy-rated research, highlighting the potential of "a significant positive change in strategy."

(See also: Stock Upgrades: On Jimmy's Birthday, Buy Carter's and Stock Downgrades: JC Penney Parties Like It's 1982.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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