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New Stock Coverage: Microsoft Still Has Major Issues


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks dropped, due in no small measure to the White House and Whitehouse Station, with fiscal cliff talks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue going nowhere at Merck (MRK) dropping 1.96% to pace all Dow (^DJI) decliners. The men in white coats at CVS Caremark (CVS), who once erroneously dispensed cancer drugs to kids, saw that stock surge 2.02% to the highest level in its history.

Meanwhile Prozac maker Eli Lilly (LLY), which epitomizes our "for every ill, there's a pill" popping culture - a predilection that extends even to pets - continued its recent slump, ending off 1.57% in spite of an analyst upgrade.

Today's earnings announcements are expected to include London Mining (PINK:LIIGY), North West Company (NWC), Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT), Oxygen Biotherapeutics (OXBT), and Rick's Cabaret International (RICK).

AP Pharma (APPA): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Jefferies.

Burger King (BKW): The fast food firm is a new Neutral Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Copano Energy (CPNO): Citigroup begins Buy rated coverage on CPNO.

Deere & Co. (DE): DE is initiated with an Outperform at Macquarie, whose price objective is $102.

DuPont (DD): The Dow (^DJI) member is resumed with a Reduce at Sun Trust.

Molycorp (MCP): Shares are a new Neutral at Robert W. Baird.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): The Dow (^DJI) member is rated no more than a Market Perform at BMO Capital, whose target price is $30. Concerns include a weak PC market and a slow ramp of Surface tablet sales.

Six Flags (SIX): SIX is initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Tech Stocks: BMC Software (BMC) and Oracle (ORCL) are both begun with Buys at Janney.

Tidewater (TDW): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Citigroup.

TiVo Inc. (TIVO): The stock is a new Buy at Goldman Sachs, whose target price is $15.

Triangle Petroleum (TPLM): The small cap is initiated with an Outperform at Robert W. Baird.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: BP Still Unable to Bridge The Gulf and Stock Upgrades: Adobe Is No Flash in the Pan.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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