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New Stock Coverage: PetSmart Is Top Dog


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Twenty-five years to the day after Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War with six words, one long-dead Russian had the last laugh. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov lies in a Leningrad cemetery but yesterday equity markets reacted in exactly the manner of his iconic dogs, springing to life and salivating right on cue at the merest hint of more monetary morphine from the Fed. The Dow (^DJI) ended up by triple-digits on light volume, more than erasing its worst Monday of 2012, after Chicago central bank president Charles Evans said he is amenable to additional stimulus measures. Mr. Evans can't currently cast a vote on the policy-setting committee, but why sweat the small stuff?

Shares also got a boost from speculation that a European banking union will soon come into effect, since the continent's current issues clearly stem from too little integration. Highfalutin and expensively credentialed economists may have been bullish back when the euro was created, but any soccer fan could tell you a 17 nation club of wildly disparate members was doomed to failure from the start. Why, just yesterday we had 183 arrests in a pre-match riot between longtime pals Poland and Russia. (As for the day's other game, the Czechs bounced the Greeks.)

Today in economics, analysts expect an essentially unchanged figure for April business inventories at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Culp Inc. (CFI), Korn/Ferry International (KFY), and Luby's (LUB) are all due to report results.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Maxim Group.

Basic Energy Services (BAS): Goldman Sachs begins Sell rated research on BAS.

Managed care companies: JPMorgan has new Neutrals on Aetna (AET), Humana (HUM), Wellpoint (WLP), Coventry Health (CVH), Health Net (HNT), and Molina Healthcare (MOH). It assigns Overweights on UnitedHealth (UNH), Amerigroup (AGP), Cigna (CI), and Centene (CNC).

PetroLogistics (PDH): Morgan Stanley picks up PDH at Overweight and UBS has a Buy but Stifel Nicolaus is more cautious at Hold.

PetSmart (PETM): Shares are initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR): PIR is picked up with a Buy at Jefferies. (WWWW): The stock is initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Woodward (WWD): Keybanc Capital covers the equity at a Buy.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: No More Tears for Johnson & Johnson and Stock Downgrades: Expedia Sent to Siberia.)
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