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New Stock Coverage: Hain Celestial Shoots for the Stars


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On May 24, 1626, Peter Minuit, born in what is present day Germany, bought the entire island of Manhattan for a measly 24 bucks. (Note to Athens: Even then, Berlin drove a hard deal.) If May 24, 2012 failed to provide investors with quite as big of a bang for the buck, a similar spirit of bargain hunting still saw most stocks end up. Shares rose late on after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said his country could help get Germany on board with eurobonds by appealing to their sense of continental "common good." The last time Italy and Germany were on the same side, in 1939, it didn't end well for either, but Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), whose name was decided that same fateful year by virtue of a coin toss, finished up 3.27% to top the Dow (^DJI). Dogs were hot, with PetSmart (PETM) rising 1.21% to an historic high, a position also enjoyed by Bob Evans Farms (BOBE), the pork sausage purveyor taking many minds off PIIGS on the day another famous frank also commanded top dollar. There was, however, no pre-Memorial Day barbecue bounce for HJ Heinz (HNZ), doubly downgraded this morning. The ketchup company has been the victim of Bronx cheers for the simple reason that it just announced a 22% tumble in quarterly profit - guys, this ain't rocket science. It's a quiet Friday for quarterly earnings announcements and the bond market is set to close early at 2:00 p.m. EDT ahead of the holiday weekend. In economic data, analysts expect the University of Michigan's final figure for May consumer confidence to slip slightly at 9:55 am.

Acquity Group (AQ): The e-commerce provider, whose shares are up sharply since a recent IPO, begun with a Buy at Citigroup and assigned Outperforms with both Oppenheimer and brokers William Blair.

Agrium (AGU): AGU is a new Underperform at National Bank Financial.

Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN): Shares are begun with a Buy at Wunderlich, whose price target is $30.

Callidus Software (CALD): CALD is covered at Outperform by Oppenheimer.

Continental Resources (CLR): Shares are begun with an Outperform and $103 price objective at Barrington Research.

Elli Mae Inc (ELLI): ELLI is initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Facebook (FB): Shares are a fresh Hold at Capstone Investments, whose target is $32. They believe the social network's core display business could generate growth rates that exceed the overall industry, but its premium ad products are not performing as well as advertisers would like.

Genuine Parts (GPC): GPC gets assigned a Hold and $64 target with Wunderlich.

Hain Celestial (HAIN): The maker of herbal teas and much else is begun with a Buy at Suntrust, whose target is $65.

Life Technologies (LIFE): Shares are picked up with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

LivePerson (LPSN): The stock is initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer.

United Stationers (USTR): USTR is a new Buy at Wunderlich.

(See Stock Upgrades: High Fives for ARM Holdings and Stock Downgrades: Ketchup King Heinz Doesn't Pass Muster.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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