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New Stock Coverage: Tesco Stock Surprisingly Stable After Horse Meat Scandal


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

Amid Valentine's Day celebrations, S&P 500 (^GSPC) stocks started a year with seven straight weekly gains for the first time since the Make Love Not War heyday of 1967. Back then, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre was a hit at the box office, but there were no such issues last week, with romantic sunsets proving especially popular as SunPower (SPWR) surged 44%. Copernicus, an early adopter of solar power and Google (GOOG) doodled this morning, would approve.

Warren Buffett got into the spirit of Random Acts of Kindness Week by paying a pretty premium for Heinz (HNZ), whose baked beans are said to give you gas. (At current prices? You gotta be kidding.) Handbag man Michael Kors (KORS) jumped 10.8% and Avon (AVP) ladies surged 22%. Elsewhere Ameriprise Financial (AMP) finished at the highest level in its history on Friday, which should even put a smile of its insufferably surly spokesman.

No top-tier economic data due today, but earnings announcements are expected out of Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX), Analog Devices (ADI), CF Industries (CF), Dell Inc. (DELL), Deutsche Börse (PINK:DBOEY), Express Scripts (ESRX), Fidelity National Financial (FNF), Herbalife (HLF), Marriott International (MAR), Medtronic (MDT), Newfield Exploration (NFX), Northeast Utilities (NU), Sealed Air (SEE), Terex (TEX), and Westlake Chemical (WLK).

European Supermarkets: JPMorgan establishes Overweights on Ahold (PINK:AHONY) of the Netherlands, France's Carrefour (PINK:CRRFY), and Tesco (PINK:TSCDY) of Britain, which has lately been dogged by a scandal involving horse meat masquerading as beef burgers. Shares are trading higher across the Atlantic this morning as a result of the upbeat assessment. The analyst is less bullish on Neutral-rated Delhaize Group (NYSE:DEG), while J. Sainsbury ((PINK:JSAIY) and William Morrison Supermarkets (PINK:MRWSY) are each assigned an Underweight.

Interpublic (IPG): Piper Jaffray resumes the advertising giant at a Neutral. Its price objective is $11.

LipoScience (LPDX): The stock is launched with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Millennial Media (MM): Shares are a new Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

PVH Corp. (PVH): The clothing company, previously known as Phillips-Van Heusen, is picked up at Outperform by Credit Suisse.

Tile Shop (TTS): Citigroup starts the stock at a Buy.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Best Buy a Screaming Buy? and Stock Downgrades: No Ka-Ching for Coinstar.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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