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New Stock Coverage: TripAdvisor Stopped in Its Tracks

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Mock the Mayans at your peril. So the world didn't end at 6:11 a.m. Eastern as predicted, putting their soothsaying on a par with economists. Yet while our future is apparently assured, stock futures look unbelievably bleak this morning and, piling on additional misery, this also happens to be a quadruple witching Friday. "Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice," wrote Robert Frost (and with such a surname, he should know.)

Indeed; NYSE Euronext (NYX) rose a record 34.10% after being bought by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) which itself advanced 1.40%, unusual for an acquirer. Elsewhere Walt Disney - whose founder apparently liked ice, and whose current creative talents definitely do - jumped 1.98%. As Earth prepared to wave goodbye, investors enjoyed saying Arrivederci Roma Financial (ROMA), which surged 63.61%, and it was Goodnight Vienna for Eloqua Inc. (ELOQ), as the firm based in Gallows Road, Vienna Virginia jumped 32.03% after being bought by Oracle (ORCL), which ought to know all about ominous prophecies.

This morning in economics, analysts expect the University of Michigan's final figure for December consumer confidence to come in essentially unchanged at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action Quanex Building Products (NX) and Walgreen (WAG) are due to report results.

Allied Nevada (ANV): Shares are initiated with an Underperform at BMO Capital.

Arbor Realty Trust (ABR): The stock is begun with a Buy at Deutsche Bank, whose price objective is $7.50.

Big Lots (BIG): Citgroup starts the stock at Buy and assigns it a $36 target.

F5 Networks (FFIV): FFIV is a fresh Outperform at FBR Capital, whose target is $120.

MagnaChip Semiconductor (MX): The name is a new Strong Buy at Needham.

McDonald's (MCD): The Dow (^DJI) member is resumed with an Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Medical Stocks: EXACT Sciences (EXAS) and OraSure (OSUR) are both begun with Buys at Mizuho.

Harman International (HAR): Guggenheim has a new Neutral on HAR.

International Business Machines (IBM): The Dow (^DJI) component is begun with a Buy at Topeka, whose target price is $245.

Residential REITs: Deutsche Bank begins Buy rated research on New York Mortgage (NYMT) and has a Hold on Resource Capital (RSO).

Splunk (SPLK): Topeka starts SPLK at a Buy and assigns it a $38.25 price objective.

Two Harbors (TWO): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank.

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP): The stock is assigned a lukewarm Neutral at Cowen.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Herbalife Acting Like Life Ends Today and Stock Upgrades: Stock Up on Chili's Owner Brinker This First Day of Winter.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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