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New Stock Coverage: Madison Square Garden Coming Up Roses

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

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April showers put the Dow (^DJI) back in bloom, even if its key component Caterpillar (CAT), up 5.3%, has had enough floodwater for all time after the Illinois River crested at 29 feet by the banks of its Peoria hometown.

On this, the six-month anniversary of Super Storm Sandy, the Tide was not nearly high enough for Procter & Gamble (PG), with the detergent maker falling 5.3% in enduring its worst week since 2009. An utterly unloved tech stock, left for dead and seen as an increasingly fuddy-duddy dividend play, surged 6.8% in its best showing of the year. Microsoft (MSFT)? No, Apple Inc. (AAPL), which rose by an identical amount.

Northrop Grumman (NOC) jumped 4.6% in a surging defense sector, and investors were in no hurry to say farewell to arms - unless of the adjustable rate variety - across the Atlantic either, after England's own ARM Holdings (ARMH) advanced 12%.

Today in economics, March pending home sales are forecast to show a pickup from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, it's another frenzied week for first quarter earnings with announcements expected out of AVEO Pharmaceuticals (AVEO), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Deutsche Börse (PINK:DBOEY), Express Scripts (ESRX), Herbalife (HLF), J&J Snack Foods (JJSF), Loews Corporation (L), Masco (MAS), Newmont Mining (NEM), and Riverbed Technology (RVBD).

Ann Inc. (ANN): BlueFin begins Outperform rated research on the clothing company, formerly known as AnnTaylor.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS): The athletic apparel retailer is resumed with an Overweight by Barclays, whose analysts wrote in a note that it has "distinguished itself as a consolidator."

Independent Bank Group (IBTX): Evercore assigns an Overweight on IBTX.

Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG): Credit Suisse covers the New York Knicks basketball owner at Outperform. Shares have surged 57.00% over the past year.

MetroPCS (PCS): Morgan Stanley starts the stock at Equal-Weight.

Nielsen (NLSN): The provider of TV ratings is itself rated an uninspiring Underperform at Northland Capital, which notes an approaching plateau in both revenue and margin growth. Its price objective is $28.

Southern Copper (SCCO): The commodity company is started with an Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Southwestern Energy (SWN): Shares are covered with a Buy at Brean Capital.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Disney Turning 'Iron Man' Into Box Office Gold and Stock Downgrades: Leap Wireless About to Take Big Step Back.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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