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New Stock Coverage: Sink Your Teeth Into Diamondback Energy

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

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On Hump Day, stocks finished as flat as a pancake. Contrasting with the wild ride of 24 hours earlier, Wednesday saw the S&P 500 (^GSPC) advance by all of 0.01 of a point, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) eked out an infinitesimal 0.32 increase. NASDAQ OMX (NDAQ) itself ended lower after announcing a 51% fall in profit amid its Facebook (FB) fiasco. The exchange thus remains a long way from its 1999 heyday, when it rose an astonishing 85.59%.

Gwyneth Paltrow, who won that year's best actress Oscar, has aged far better, if not quite as impressively as that 14-year old hamburger. Ms. Paltrow was always more partial to Mexican cuisine anyway, and obviously inspired a 7.10% surge in Taco Bell owner Yum Brands (YUM). Apple Inc. (AAPL) remains heavily shorted but the delightfully diminutive 5-foot, 2-inch Wendy of Snapple (DPS) stands tall, her stock hitting the highest level in its history.

The single busiest day of earnings season has arrived with Amazon (AMZN), AstraZeneca (AZN), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Coca-Cola (KO), ConocoPhillips (COP), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Gazprom (PINK:OGZPY), JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Starbucks (SBUX), and United Parcel Service (UPS) all due to report results.

ASML Holding (ASML): HSBC Securities starts the semiconductor stock at Overweight, sending it up sharply in today's pre-market trading.

Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG): Canaccord begins Buy rated coverage on the independent oil and gas company, which has the sort of stock symbol only Dracula could love. Its price objective is $36.

Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM): The stock is a fresh Buy at Global Hunter.

General Growth Properties (GGP): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch launches Neutral rated research.

NICE Systems (NICE): NICE is a new Market Perform at JMP Securities.

Towerstream (TWER): Shares are assigned an Overweight at Evercore.

Workday (WDAY): The equity is established with a Market Perform by BMO Capital Markets, whose price objective is $60. Its strength in the cloud-core HCM (Human Capital Management) is promising but heavyweight competitors including Oracle (ORCL) abound.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Yesterday's Mutiny Provides Bounty for P&G Shareholders and Stock Downgrades: McGraw-Hill Has Mountain to Climb.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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