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New Stock Coverage: Travelers on Road to Riches

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

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"Buy when it snows, sell when it goes," says the old Wall Street saw. Since we are still getting sleet in the second half of April, maybe yesterday's decline will ultimately be seen as an ideal opportunity to purchase equities at a discount. Indeed futures are currently up as I write, but the market's immediate past appears ominous.

At least Wednesday's woe was an equal opportunity offender. Diehard Met fan David Einhorn lost $30 million in Apple Inc. (AAPL) alone as that troubled tech stock fell a further 5.50% to levels last seen in 2011. And Bank of America (BAC), whose logo is emblazoned all over Yankee Stadium, was met with Bronx cheers after it bombed 4.72% to lead Dow (^DJI) laggards.

Across the Atlantic, Britain's finance minister attended Margaret Thatcher's funeral with a tear in his eye, either out of grief at her passing or having just learned that UK's unemployment rate hit its highest in 17 months. In a cratering commodity complex silver slumped to a more than two-year low, AK Steel (AKS) slid 5.05%, Noranda Aluminum (NOR) nosedived 5.71% to an historic trough, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) fell 4.27%, and miner BHP Billiton (BHP) moved 3.77% lower after announcing iron-ore production imploded 5%. This as the London premiere of Iron Man 3 was postponed for the funeral of the Iron Lady. And the English say us Americans don't get iron-y.

Today in economics, April's Philadelphia Fed Index and March consumer confidence are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, African Barrick Gold (PINK:ABGLY), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Google (GOOG), International Business Machines (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Morgan Stanley (MS), Nokia (NOK), PepsiCo (PEP), Philip Morris (PM), Union Pacific (UNP), United Healthcare (UNH), and Verizon (VZ) are all due to release results.

American International Group (AIG): BMO Capital begins Outperform rated research on AIG.

Aon PLC (AON): The insurance outfit is assigned an Underperform by BMO.

Fertilizer Stocks: HSBC Securities initiates Overweights on Agrium (AGU) and Potash (POT). It has a new Neutral, and $66 target price, on Mosaic (MOS).

Google (GOOG): The Internet search giant gets assigned an Overweight at Evercore.

Pandora Media (P): Lazard launches the Internet radio outfit at a Neutral.

Madison Square Garden (MSG): Davenport begins Buy rated research.

Marsh & McLennan (MMC): BMO Capital covers the company at Market Perform.

Millennial Media (MM): Shares are set an Outperform at Northland Capital, whose target is $12.

PerkinElmer (PKI): Citigroup picks up PKI at a Neutral.

Qualys (QLYS): Saying that the company's robust pipeline of new cloud services can propel growth, Imperial Capital covers it at Outperform with a $15.10 objective.

Select Comfort (SCSS): Raymond James resumes the mattress maker at Outperform, although shares are sleeping with the fishes as we speak unfortunately, off about 4% after announcing earnings.

Travelers (NYSE:TRV): The key Dow (^DJI) component, up 41.81% in the past year having hit an historic high on Monday, is resumed with an Outperform at BMO Capital.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: UPS Can Deliver for Investors and Stock Downgrades: Krispy Kreme Disappears Down Doughnut Hole.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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