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New Stock Coverage: Oracle's Ellison Is Happy as Larry

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

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Those Wall Street wannabes flocking to financial careers after seeing Marty's film would have been way disappointed yesterday. Instead of making millions and partying like rock stars, the reality is much more mundane. Witness Thursday's session, which was an antidote to insomnia as the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) barely budged all day. Still, much like Michael Lewis's Liar's Poker -- another work intended as a warning -- the movie is instead being treated as a perverse recruiting tool for the industry. Liar's Poker skillfully described shenanigans in the bond pits of Salomon Brothers, later bought by banking behemoth Citigroup (NYSE:C) as party of an extremely unwise attempt to become a financial supermarket. Lessons remain painfully unlearned, and its shunned stock just slid 5.40% for its single worst showing since 2012. I hate to break it to college graduates captivated by the moneyed canyons of lower Manhattan, but who on Earth would want to swim with the sharks down there? (To say nothing of the "great vampire squid" that is Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), much less JPMorgan's (NYSE:JPM) "London Whale.") In such a bloodthirsty environment, it is little wonder that SeaWorld's (NYSE:SEAS) Shamu sank 2.25%, although admittedly that may have had more to do with President Putin's killer dolphins. Jordan Belfort took a belly full of quaaludes to be able to sleep with himself (and others) each night. A generation on, cannabis stocks are all the rage on Wall Street, but Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), upgraded this morning after surging some 6.16% yesterday, is getting high by going to Potdevin.
 
Today in economics, the University of Michigan's March consumer sentiment survey is expected to tick up slightly from February's pace at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL) each released results earlier this morning.
 
Atlas Energy (NYSE:ATLS): Deutsche Bank begins Buy-rated research, assigning a price objective of $53.
 
Columbia Property Trust (NYSE:CXP): CXP is covered with a Perform at JMP Securities.
 
Energy Stocks: Mizuho has new Neutrals on Bill Barrett (NYSE:BBG) and EP Energy (NYSE:EPE) but is more bullish on Carrizo Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:CRZO), Buy rated with a $64 target price.
 
Integrated Silicon (NASDAQ:ISSI): Shares are resumed with a Buy rating, and $18 objective, at B. Riley & Co.
 
McGraw-Hill Financial (NYSE:MHFI): Janney begins Buy-rated research on the ratings agency.
 
Oracle (NYSE:ORCL): Oracle's CEO will be happy as -- well, you know -- after his stock was begun with a bullish Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald. Its price objective is $50.
 
Synergy Resources (NYSEMKT:SYRG): Imperial Capital assigns an Outperform opinion and $12 target.
 
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX): Cantor covers the company with a Buy and $200 price target.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Fear Not, 76ers Fans, as Alcoa Proves Pennsylvania Still Has Some Pride

Stock Downgrades: Danone Better Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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