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New Stock Coverage: Everything's Rosy at Madison Square Garden


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

On the anniversary of Viagra, stocks got surprisingly little help from the land of Bunga Bunga. (Although it must be said neither Pfizer (PFE), a 0.14% riser to finish at a fresh eight year peak, nor Mr. Berlusconi's Mediaset (PINK:MDIUY), which jumped 5.32% on earnings, could be blamed for the punk performance in equities.)

The Dow (^DJI) dropped on yet more economic angst in Italy, with hometown hero Telecom Italia (TI) tumbling 2.76% to a new lifetime low; as Foxy Knoxy learned earlier in the week, you are never truly off the hook over there. Elsewhere Net 1 Ueps Technologies (UEPS), whose offerings allow easy withdrawals from ATMs, surged 26.85% to top all Nasdaq (^IXIC) issues. They will be loving that in Cyprus.

This is the last day of the first quarter on Wall Street, with the US bond market set for an early 2:00 p.m. Eastern close ahead of the Good Friday holiday, when there will be no trading in equities.

This morning's economic data includes the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for March, due out at 9:45 a.m. In earnings activity, Accenture (ACN), BlackBerry (BBRY), GameStop (GME), Mosaic (MOS), Signet Jewelers (SIG), and Winnebago Industries (WGO) are all expected to report results.

Air Delivery/Freight: Stephens has a fresh Overweight on FedEx (FDX) and assigns an Equal Weight on United Parcel Service (UPS).

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA): Goldman Sachs starts Neutral rated research on ARIA.

Athletic Apparel: Goldman has Neutrals rated coverage on Columbia Sportswear (COLM), Lululemon athletica (LULU), and Under
Armour (UA). It begins Buys on both Nike (NKE) and V.F. Corp (VFC).

Belden (BDC): The electrical equipment company is covered with a Buy at Canaccord.

Biotechnology: Biogen Idec (BIIB), Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ), and Medivation (MDVN) are all assigned Outperforms at JMP Securities, which resumes Regeneron (REGN) at Market Perform.

Covanta (CVA): Impressed with its free cash flow characteristics, rising dividend yield, and stock repurchase plan, Ascendiant Capital covers the company with a Buy, setting a $24 target price.

Emerson Electric (EMR): Canaccord establishes a Hold on EMR.

Large Cap Financials: Guggenheim begins Goldman Sachs (GS) at a Buy and has a new Neutral on Morgan Stanley (MS).

Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG): More good news for the New York Knicks, new owners of the National Basketball Association's longest winning streak after Miami's loss to Chicago last night. This morning its corporate parent, whose shares have shot up 66.99% in the past year, is begun with a bullish Buy recommendation and $67 price objective at B. Riley Caris. The company's marquee assets, which also include ice hockey's Rangers, bode extremely well for fiscal 2015 Free Cash Flow, the broker believes.

Maiden Holdings (MHLD): Sterne Agee has a Buy on the insurance outfit.

Nautilus Group (NLS): The gym giant, which gained 2.32% on Wednesday, is a new Neutral at DA Davidson.

Oil & Gas: Saying shares are appropriately valued at current levels, Robert W. Baird rolls out new Neutrals on Crosstex Energy Inc. (XTXI) and Crosstex Energy LP (XTEX). Its respective price objectives are $21 and $19.

Teekay Corporation (TK): RBC Capital resumes Outperform rated research on the shipping stock.

United Technologies (UTX): Morgan Stanley starts the stock, a key Dow (^DJI) component recently trading atop all time highs, at Overweight.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Fight Europe's Capital Flight With Ryanair and Stock Downgrades: Subsea 7 Is Seriously Under Water.)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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