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New Stock Coverage: Time to Go Apple Picking Again?

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

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Well, T.S. Eliot did tell us this is "the cruelest month." Stocks, on a record run until Tuesday, endured their single worst session in weeks amid more saber ratting on the Korean peninsula.

Far from being an out-to-lunch artist, Eliot toiled for eight long years at a bank, and so likely saw coming a Dow (^DJI)-worst 2.80% decline in Bank of America (BAC) on a day when investors in the financial sector lost their shirts. (Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB), up 2.81% in an otherwise brutal tape, is exempt from all criticism.)

With all due respect to National Poetry Month, in recent years on Wall Street, history has not Rhymed, Busta, but repeated with eerily identical precision. We have seen this movie many times before and it is getting awfully tired, hence the 3.93% nosedive in Netflix (NFLX). On the bright side, Six Flags (SIX) rode bullish research to hit the highest level in its history. One flag for each Olympic ring, with South Korea's thrown in for good measure. They will love that in Pyongyang.

It's a relatively quiet day for earnings releases, but International Speedway (ISCA) did report results earlier this morning.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): The tech titan, in a tailspin since September, today gets some welcome good news, with Lazard picking it up at a Buy. Shares are accordingly edging up slightly in today's pre-market trading as I write.

Argonaut Group (AGII): Shares are started with a Neutral at Compass Point, which establishes a price objective of $45. While underwriting results are picking up, the broker does not envisage an immediate upturn in ROAE (Return On Average Equity).

Banco Santander Mexico (BSMX): Nomura has a new Neutral on the name.

Grocery Stores: Casey's General Stores (CASY) is a fresh Market Perform at Wells Fargo, which assigns Outperforms on Pantry (PTRY) and Susser (SUSS).

Iridium Communications (IRDM): Sidoti starts the satellite stock at a Buy.

MEDNAX (MD): The equity gets covered with a Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Electronics: Amphenol (APH) and Molex (MOLX) are each resumed at Neutral by Goldman.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Panera Bread Rolling in Dough and Stock Downgrades: Microsoft Shareholders Jumping Out of Windows.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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