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New Stock Coverage: Facebook Inc Finally Making Its Mark

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

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Stocks slumped again, with the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) enduring its first four-session losing streak of 2013. Who did it? Some say The Butler, but my money's on Agatha Christie. This as Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient-Express (OEH) made for a dreadful double bill in the market. Regarding Ten Little Indians, another of Ms. Christie's iconic mysteries, two proved more than sufficient for mayhem, with Bombay's main bourse extending its recent swoon and an unloved tribe of Apaches (APA) imploding another 4.58%. The aforementioned events made for a Three Act Tragedy in equities, and as for Five Little Pi(I)gs - to quote the author's 1942 caper - this morning's awful action in Italy and Spain suggests we are already half way to another hellish session.

No top-tier economic data due today, but corporate earnings are expected out of Analog Devices(ADI), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Best Buy (BBY), BHP Billiton (BHP), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Glencore Xstrata (GLNCY), Home Depot (HD), Intuit (INTU), JC Penney (JCP), La-Z-Boy (LZB), Medtronic (MDT), and TJX Companies (TJX).

Anadarko Petroleum (APC): Canaccord Genuity covers the energy company at a Buy.

Apache Corporation (APA): Shares are begun with a Buy, also at Canaccord.

Ares Capital (ARCC): Sterne Agee covers the equity at a Buy.

Bloomin' Brands (BLMN): The Outback Steakhouse owner is assigned an appropriate Overweight by Barclays.

Facebook Inc (FB): Mark Zuckerberg's recently-resurgent social networking name is showing further strength ahead of this morning's opening bell after being named a new Buy at Janney. Its price objective is $50.

John Bean Technologies (JBT): The diversified machinery firm is a new Speculative Buy at Global Hunter Securities. The objective is $31 on a stock it sees as undervalued.

Laclede Group (LG): The gas utility gets assigned an Overweight at JPMorgan.

Marlin Midstream Partners (FISH): The limited partnership is a fresh Outperform at Robert W. Baird, whose target price is $23. Catalysts include its recurring, fee-based model in natural gas processing and crude logistics.

Pandora Media (P): B. Riley & Co. picks up the Internet radio outfit at a Buy.

Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU): Goldman Sachs the Chinese Internet firm at a Neutral.

Salesforce.com (CRM): Shares are set an Overweight at First Analysis.

Ultra Petroleum (UPL): Canaccord Genuity has a Hold on the energy outfit.

Washington Trust (WASH): Guggenheim gives the regional financial firm a Buy recommendation and $38 target price.

Zynga (ZNGA): The mobile gaming giant, whose offerings include FarmVille and Words With Friends, is started with a Sell at Janney.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Urban Outfitters, Inc. Moves Uptown and Stock Downgrades: No Dough at Panera Bread Co.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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