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New Stock Coverage: Planet Payment Is Out of This World

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

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Jiroemon Kimura, the planet's oldest person, turned 116 years young on Friday. What a pity that another product of the mid 1890s, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), marked the occasion by wrapping up its worst week of 2013. Blue chips tumbled 2.14% in posting their poorest performance since a June swoon amid uninspiring economic data and a decidedly iffy start to earnings season.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) nosedived 9.1% in falling below $400, but Nokia (NOK), down 12%, and International Business Machines (IBM), which lost 10%, will both be crying a river at that fate. Amid the mayhem two blue chips did post strong showings. Microsoft (MSFT), founded by a Harvard dropout who went on to invent Excel, gained 3.4%. (A couple of hoity-toity Harvard economists could clearly use a refresher course in how to use the spreadsheet.)

Elsewhere, Tylenol was shown not just to help headaches but also successfully treat existential angst. Not that investors in its owner Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which jumped 2.12% to an historic high, should have any of that. And on Wall Street, you really can swim with the sharks without being eaten alive. Shamu's SeaWorld (SEAS), whose underwriters were "great vampire squid" Goldman Sachs (GS) and "London whale" JPMorgan (JPM), surged 24.15% on its first day of trading.

This morning in economics, March existing home sales are expected to increase from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Peak earnings week is upon us, with today's key results due to include Caterpillar (CAT), Haliburton (HAL), Hasbro (HAS), Netflix (NFLX), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Zions Bancorp (ZION).

Autodesk (ADSK): Evercore assigns an Equal Weight on ADSK.

Autoliv (ALV): The auto parts outfit is a new Equal Weight at Barclays.

Cabot Oil & Gas (COG): Deutsche Bank covers COG with a Hold.

Coronado Biosciences (CNDO): The company is launched with a Buy recommendation at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Harman International (HAR): The electronic equipment equity is begun with an Equal Weight at Barclays.

MAKO Surgical (MAKO): Shares are a Hold at WallachBeth, whose target is $12. Shares are seen as range bound in the near-term.

Parametric (PMTC): The technical software stock is set an Overweight at Evercore.

Planet Payment (NASDAQ:PLPM): Shares are initiated with an Outperform at Barrington, sending it up 4.03% before this morning's opening bell.

Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT): The stock is a new Buy at Needham, whose target is $57 on high hopes for its eteplirsen product in development.

Subsea 7 S.A. (PINK:SUBCY): Shares are established with a Hold by Deutsche Bank.

TRW Automotive (TRW): Barclays begins Overweight rated research.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Has Worm Finally Turned on Apple? and Stock Downgrades: Lights Go Out on General Electric.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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