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New Stock Coverage: Facebook Inc Finds a Friend


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

After pausing briefly to observe the Sabbath - that would be fictional financial reporter Sloan Sabbith, who made a most welcome return to our screens on Sunday - Mister Market rose for an eighth straight session. With the S&P 500 (^GSPC) setting yet another record, thus does infernal 2008 and its series of scary Sundays recede ever more into ancient history. PepsiCo (PEP), whose CEO Indra Nooyi once hosted an investor meeting at Yankee Stadium, hit the highest level in its history. Citigroup (C), whose experience with Indian CEOs was less lucrative, put in an all-star performance, jumping 1.97% as it prepares to emblazon itself on the home of the Mets. Alas - and with apologies to baseball ballad "Casey at the Bat" - there was No Rajoy in Mudville for Spain's long-suffering leader. Google (GOOG) honored a starving artist of incomparable genius with one of its doodles. It's far more fun to be rich, however, and the stock - assigned a bullish "buy" rating today - hit a historic peak yesterday.

Today's quarterly earnings announcements are due to include Charles Schwab (SCHW), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) ,CSX Corp (CSX), Goldman Sachs (GS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Mosaic (MOS), Rio Tinto (RIO), and Yahoo (YHOO).

Ariad Pharmceuticals (ARIA): Credit Suisse covers the company at a Neutral.

Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT): Shares are initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital, whose price objective is $29. Floating-rate commercial real estate loans are expected to grow exponentially in coming quarters.

First Republic Bank (FRC): FRC is a fresh Outperform at Raymond James

Gogo Inc (GOGO): The in-flight WiFi provider is picked up with an Overweight at JPMorgan and an equally bullish buy at UBS. Morgan Stanley, at Equal-Weight, is more cautious.

Internet Stocks: Suntrust Robinson Humphrey has new Neutrals on AOL Inc. (AOL), eBay Inc. (EBAY), LinkedIn (LNKD) and Yahoo (YHOO). It begins Buys on (AMZN), Facebook Inc (FB) and Google (GOOG).

Masimo (MASI): The medical appliance outfit is initiated with a Outperform at Wedbush. (CRM): JPMorgan assigns Neutral-rated coverage.

Starbucks (SBUX): Citing a steep valuation, Stifel has a Hold on the coffee company.

TrovaGene (TROV): The small cap is covered with a Buy rating and $10 price target at Cantor Fitzgerald, which notes its proprietary technology to analyze systemic cell-free DNA and RNA isolated from urine.

YUM Brands (YUM): Shares are a Buy at Stifel, whose target is $105.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: General Motors Company Is on Road to Riches and Stock Downgrades: Inc. Takes a Licking.)
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