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New Stock Coverage: Intel Only Semiconscious

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

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In an uncertain world, it's nice to know the cover curse remains as reliable as ever. On the day Barron's said the Dow (^DJI) was on an inexorable upward trajectory, blue chips endured their worst day of the year. (You know things are bad when beleaguered Herbalife (HLF), having tumbled 39.64% over the past 12 months, is among the session's standout stocks to the upside.)

Other equities bucking a bad tape were Cobra Electronics (COBR), up 2.98% just in time for this week's start of the Year of the Snake, and Panasonic (PC), which surged some 12.21%. The consumer electronics giant began life in 1918 as a vendor of lamp sockets; take that, Superdome!

After 500 years, we finally found the man who said, "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" Just so long as it wasn't a Clydesdale, what with Anheuser-Busch (BUD) falling 5.00% on a ratings reduction. The brewing behemoth famously featured voodoo in its Super Bowl advertising and yesterday's slide was an uncomfortable case of déjà vu-doo economics, for shares endured a similarly awful end to last week.

Today in economics, a slight slippage is seen in the Institute for Supply Management's January non-manufacturing index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), BP Plc (BP), Estée Lauder (EL), Kellogg (K), NYSE Euronext, Sirius XM Radio (SIRI), Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO), Toyota Motor (TM), UBS AG (UBS), Walt Disney (DIS), and Zynga (ZNGA) are all due to report results.

Biotechnology: Lazard launches Buys on both Repros Therapeutics (RPRX) and Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA).

Brookdale Senior Living (BKD): BKD is begun with an Equal Weight at Barclays.

EchoStar (SATS): Stephens starts an Overweight opinion, and $46 price objective, on SATS.

Fast Food: Chuy's (CHUY) is rated an Underperform with Wedbush, which establishes Denny's (DENN) at Outperform.

LinkedIn (LNKD): Shares are assumed with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray, whose price objective is $150.

Lumber Liquidators (LL): Credit Suisse launches Outperform rated coverage on LL.

Personal Services/Specialty Retail: Ulta Salon (ULTA) and Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) are each assigned Outperforms at Credit Suisse.

Preferred Apartment Communities (APTS): Shares are begun with a Buy at Compass Point, which establishes a price objective of $9.75. The firm's multifamily portfolio is poised to benefit continued strength in the macroeconomic environment.

Semiconductor Stocks: Cowen has new Neutrals on Dow (^DJI) member Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), along with KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC), Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX), SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK), and Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN). Its Outperforms include Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM).

ValueClick (VCLK): The stock is picked up with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM): Credit Suisse covers the Pottery Barn owner at a Neutral at assigns it a $49 target price.

Workday (WDAY): Citigroup has a new Neutral on WDAY.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Miracle on 34th Street for Macy's and Stock Downgrades: Yum Brands Giving Investors Indigestion.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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