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New Stock Coverage: Sibanye Gold Set to Glitter

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

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"In like a lion, out like a lamb" certainly doesn't describe this March from a meteorological standpoint, but it is a perfect assessment of the stock market's month. The Dow (^DJI), on a record run until recently, has now dropped for two of the past three days, due in no small measure to Cyprus, where they tend to show precious little mercy to sheep.

Adding insult to injury for the island, which lost its entire electric power in a blackout not long ago, LED lighting powerhouse Veeco Instruments (VECO) surged 8.50% to finish at a fresh 52-week. And Apollo Group (APOL), named for the ancient god of the sun in Greece - historically public enemy number one for any Cypriot - surged 7.10% to end as the S&P 500's (^GSPC) top stock.

Elsewhere, cemetery stock Carriage Services (CSV) continues to put the fun in funeral, advancing another 3.03% to take its 12 month gain to 207.10%. This as Yahoo's (YHOO) Marissa Mayer robbed the cradle with a 17-year old. BlackBerry (BBRY) fell 4.56% after getting downgraded by…Goldman Sachs (GS), whose CEO was once "widely known in Wall Street circles as a BlackBerry addict."

After a quiet couple of sessions the pace of economic data picks up with two releases due at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, namely February new home sales and consumer confidence for March. On the corporate front, Bank of China (PINK:BACHY), Children's Place (PLCE), GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (GOL), Mattress Firm Holding (MFRM), Neogen (NEOG), and Turquoise Hill (TRQ) are all due to report results.

Brookfield Residential Properties (BRP): Citigroup starts the real estate outfit at a Buy.

Delphi Automotive (DLPH): The auto parts stock is picked up with a Buy by KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Fusion-io (FIO): FIO is a fresh Perform at Oppenheimer, which notes that consensus earnings estimates currently appear challenging.

Healthsouth (HLS): Stifel has a Buy rating and $29 target price on a stock it says stands to benefit from increased market share amid an industry trend toward greater cost control.

KLA-Tencor (KLAC): Shares are a new Buy at Needham, which sets a price objective of $61 on a name it says enjoys the highest gross and operating margins among all of its peers.

Luminex (LMNX): The medical instrument maker is a new Neutral with Wedbush.

ON Semiconductor (ONNN): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch launches Buy rated coverage on the chip company.

Sibanye Gold (NYSE:SBGL): HSBC Securities starts the South African mining stock at Overweight, assigning it a price objective of $10.60.

Tri Pointe Homes (TPH): FBR Capital has a fresh Outperform on TPH.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Electronic Arts Isn't Playing Around and Stock Downgrades: Apollo Investment an Appalling Investment?)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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