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New Stock Coverage: The Gap Inc. Is Dressed for Success


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

Both Ben Bernanke and the Fed he heads have had better weeks. Confirming that bad news does indeed arrive in triplicate, Dow Industrials (^DJI) - up over 114 points to an historic intra-day high of 15,634.32 in the morning - ended in the red after the latest musings from our central bank. Still, in The Wall Street Journal's words, the FOMC's "latest policy statement failed to make waves." An odd thing to say about the good ship QE, perhaps, but nautical themes did dominate the day. "London Whale" JPMorgan (JPM) posted an especially impressive performance, while Shark Week broadcaster Discovery Communications (DISCA) scored an analyst upgrade. (Alas, investors still lost their Sharknado shirts in the stock, which sunk 1.58%. No, if it was Jaws you were after, Mako Surgical (MAKO) was the one making money talk, jumping 12.95%.) A reviled Riverbed (RVBD), meanwhile, slept with the fishes in tumbling 10.81%. This as Dell Inc.'s (DELL) Silver Lake ran dry, with the stock dropping 1.56%. They could surely use a fresh application of FactSet's (FDS) SharkRepellent.

Today in economic data, consensus calls for an uptick in July's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, results are released out of American International Group (AIG), BMW Group (BAMXF), ConocoPhillips (COP), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Kellogg (K), Kraft Foods (KRFT), LinkedIn (LNKD), Lloyds Banking Group (LYG), New York Times (NYT), Procter & Gamble (PG), and Société Générale (SCGLY).

Apparel/Accessories: FBR Capital establishes fresh Market Performs on Ann Inc. (ANN) - formerly known as AnnTaylor - Chico's FAS (CHS), Francesca's (FRAN), and Victoria's Secret owner L Brands (LTD), formerly known as Limited Brands. It has an Underperform on the former Dress Barn, now known as Ascena Retail (ASNA). More upbeat Outperforms are ascribed to Express Inc. (EXPR) and underwear outfit Hanesbrands (HBI).

Entravision Communications (EVC): Evercore resumes an Overweight on EVC.

Guess Inc. (GES): Susquehanna starts the stock at a Neutral.

Meritor (MTOR): The auto parts firm is assigned a Neutral at JPMorgan.

Micron Technology (MU): Goldman Sachs has a new Neutral on the tech name amid a lack of compelling catalysts.

The Gap Inc. (GPS): The resurgent clothing retailer is covered with an Outperform at FBR Capital.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: It's Still Not Too Latte to Invest in Starbucks Corporation and Stock Downgrades: Bayer AG Has a Massive Headache.)
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