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New Stock Coverage: No Miracle on 34th Street for Macy's

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

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Flash crash, why'd you leave us so soon? On the third anniversary of the Dow (^DJI) plunging almost 1,000 points in the blink of an eye, yesterday cried out for a fraction of such excitement. Instead, blue chips traded in their tightest range for eight and a half months and ended the day basically dead even in desultory action amid a dearth of earnings and economic data.

Among noteworthy stocks, Pfizer (PFE) - down more than 4% last week - ended off another 0.83% even as it unveiled plans to start selling Viagra online. (For some strange reason, men would apparently prefer to avoid a delicate public discussion with pharmacists who act like this and this.)

Across the Atlantic, Britain's bourse was closed for a holiday but there was one interesting development out of Europe. The creator of the common currency has had a change of heart and just called it "catastrophic". Now he tells us.

This afternoon in economics, March consumer credit is released at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, expect announcements out of Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA), DirecTV (DTV), Fossil (FOSL), Electronic Arts (EA), HSBC Holdings (HBC), Molson Coors (TAP), OfficeMax (OMX), Société Générale (PINK:SCGLY), Walt Disney (DIS), Whole Foods (WFM), and Zillow (Z).

Agilent Technologies (A): Jefferies resumes Buy rated research on the company.

Biomarin (BMRN): The biotech gets begun with a Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK): ISI Group assigns a rating of Cautious on the company.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): The key Dow (^DJI) component is a new Outperform at Cowen.

Clothing Companies: ANN Inc. (ANN), formerly known as Ann Taylor, is a new Market Perform with Wells Fargo, which covers both Chico's FAS (CHS) and Michael Kors (KORS) at Outperform.

Department Stores: Wells Fargo assigns a trio of lukewarm Market Performs on Macy's (NYSE:M), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), and Kohl's (NYSE:KSS). It rates troubled JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) an Underperform.

EVERTEC (EVTC): Shares of the business transaction processor are launched with Buys at both Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and UBS.

Freight/Parcel Carriers: Telsey Advisory Group starts covering Deutsche Post (PINK:DPSGY), FedEx (FDX) ($115 price objective), and United Parcel Service (UPS) ($99.) Though Telsey does not offer official research recommendations, its outlook on the sector is broadly positive amid a global macroeconomic recovery, solid industry balance sheets, and positive cash flow generation.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU): The yoga apparel outfitter is initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Omthera Pharmaceuticals (OMTH): Piper Jaffray picks up the equity at Overweight.

Pinnacle Foods (PF): The recent Initial Public Offering, whose brands include Aunt Jemima, Bird's Eye, Duncan Hines, and Vlasic, is picked up with an Outperform by BMO Capital Markets. Morgan Stanley, at Equal Weight, is less upbeat.

Rally Software Development (RALY): RALY is a new Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Sanchez Energy (SN): Suntrust Robinson Humphrey starts the stock at a Buy.

Scientific/Medical Instruments: Becton Dickinson (BDX), Bio-Rad (BIO), Bruker (BRKR), and Thermo Fisher (TMO) are all begun with a Buy at Jefferies, which has a Hold on Waters (WAT).

T-Mobile US (TMUS): Bank of America-Merrill establishes Underperform rated coverage on the telecom company.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Gym Giant Nautilus All Set to Pump You Up and Stock Downgrades: Get Rid of Ruckus After Noisy Quarter.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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