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New Stock Coverage: Oil's Well That Ends Well at Exxon

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Mitt Romney, apparently good for equities last week, is evidently bad for them, now and if the electorate can't make up their mind then Wall Street is certainly voting with its feet. On Mental Health Day stocks failed a stress test in spectacular fashion, with increasingly depressed Dow Industrials (^DJI) down by triple digits for a second day and the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) extending its slide to four straight sessions. An iffy start to earnings season meant markets went negative for the month on a day only bibliophiles could love, with Barnes & Noble (BKS) up another 8.18% and the Fed issuing a relatively bullish beige book. The world's largest arms merger was abandoned amid a conflict of interests among British, German, and French authorities. That shouldn't come as a surprise when the US and UK can't even agree on the spelling of aluminum, although alas Alcoa (AA) can't afford to buy a vowel after falling 4.60% to lead blue chips lower.

Today's earnings announcements are due to include Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK), Cantel Medical (CMN), Fastenal (FAST), Safeway (SWY), Winnebago Industries (WGO), and Zep Inc. (ZEP).

American Tower (AMT): AMT is a new Neutral at Nomura, whose price target is $70.

Brown-Forman (BFB): The Jack Daniels owner is assigned a Neutral at SunTrust.

First Financial Holdings (FFCH): The savings and loan firm is assigned a Market Perform at Raymond James.

Genomic Health (GHDX): Shares get picked up with a Neutral rating and $36 target at Goldman Sachs.

Life Time Fitness (LTM): Wedbush launches coverage at Outpeform and issues a $55 target price.

Oil Stocks: Dual Dow (^DJI) members Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) (Buy) and Chevron (CVX) (Hold) are resumed at Dahlman Rose, the former with a price objective of $100. Exxon is preferred for its balanced global portfolio and disciplined investment strategy.

Popular Inc. (BPOP): Shares are an Outperform at RBC Capital, whose target is $25.

Rite Aid (RAD): The stock is begun with a Buy at BTIG.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Check Is in the Mail at FedEx and Stock Downgrades: Caterpillar in the Doghouse.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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