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New Stock Coverage: Tide Is High at Royal Caribbean Cruises


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Inspired by Plymouth Rock, stocks stepped back from the fiscal cliff. Thanksgiving week, which has historically been better than average for the markets, got off to an especially ebullient start this year, with the Dow Average (^DJI) enjoying its strongest single session since September 6.

Adding to the feel-good factor, the National Association of Home Builders said its confidence index hit its highest level in 6.5 years, back when the real estate bubble was in full flow amid ridiculously lax lending standards. (Good thing there's no chance of history repeating, eh? In housing, as elsewhere, the devil is always in the details.) Home improvement sent Lowe's (LOW) 6.19% higher, its shares standing at a fresh 52-week peak after earnings beat the Street by a nickel. The company that once infamously confused family and Christmas trees is now simply a money tree.

It's a fairly tepid Tuesday in economic data but Fed head Ben Bernanke speaks at the Economic Club of New York at 12:15 p.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, earnings announcements are expected out of American Woodmark (AMWD), Best Buy (BBY), Campbell Soup (CPB), Chico's FAS (CHS), easyJet (ESYJY), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), H. J. Heinz (HNZ), Hormel Foods (HRL), Medtronic (MDT), (CRM), Signet Jewelers (SIG), and Zale (ZLC).

Coach Inc. (COH): Shares are initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo.

C.R. Bard (BCR): Brean Capital has a Hold on the stock.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK): The footwear firm is a new Outperform with Wedbush.

Geospace Technologies (GEOS): GEOS gets picked up with a Hold at Dahlman Rose, which issues a price target of $85.

Managed Care Companies: Lazard launches Buys on Aetna (AET) and new Dow (^DJI) member UnitedHealth (UNH), setting respective price objectives of $50 and $70. It has a new Neutral on WellPoint (WLP).

Medicines Company (MDCO): Oppenheimer establishes an Outperform on MDCO.

Millennial Media (MM): Janney Montgomery Scott starts the stock at a Buy.

Realogy (RLGY): Shares are initiated with Overweights at JPMorgan and Barclays, an Outperform with Wells Fargo, and a Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, each with new Neutrals, are less upbeat and Crédit Agricole assigns an Underperform as it says the current valuation already adequately reflects a potential rebound in the US housing market.

Regional Banks: Credit Suisse assigns Outperforms on East West Bancorp (EWBC), First Republic Bank (FRC), Signature Bank (SBNY), and Susquehanna Bank (SUSQ).

Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) The company is a new Buy at Natixis.

Six Flags Entertainment (SIX): Shares are started with a Neutral at Longbow.

Teradata (TDC): Credit Suisse covers the firm at Outperform. Its price target is $80.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Hewlett-Packard Has Hell to Pay and Stock Upgrades: Fast Money Piles Into Zipcar.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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