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New Stock Coverage: Stay in School Stocks?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On the last day of spring, stocks sprung. Now let's see if summer loving awaits. (Although if we are dependent for that on Grease, fugetaboutit.) On admittedly light volume, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) advanced for a fourth straight session to trade at five-week peaks amid high hopes for further fiscal easing from the Fed and helpful housing data. Utilities stand at their highest level since September 2008, which ominously ended as an awful month in equities. 1929 was similarly awash in red ink, and poor Spain must now watch as Picasso's "Woman in a Red Armchair," painted that fateful year, is attacked in a brazen act of vandalism.

An analyst upgrade of Polish vodka purveyor Central European Distribution Corp. (CEDC) saw it advance 2.68%, even if the country has now been knocked out of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. A fate experienced by fellow co-host Ukraine yesterday, although Kiev kindly decided not to fine foreigners for urinating in public. Considering the quadrennial sporting celebration of continental harmony features anti-hooligan testicle-biting dogs and sonic cannons that induce urination, this was quite big of them. Regardless, restroom operator Swisher Hygiene (SWSH) surged 9.70%.

They say beer is something you rent, not buy, but there were buyers aplenty of Boston Beer (SAM), whose surge of 2.08% took it to an all-time high of $120. Little wonder Mr. Malone's cheery sidekick Woody Harrelson felt flush enough to give a homeless woman some $600.

The Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day policy meeting today at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, with Ben Bernanke's press conference scheduled to follow at 2:15 p.m. In earnings action, Apogee Enterprises (APOG), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Crown Crafts (CRWS), Hennes & Mauritz (HNNMY), Micron Technology (MU), Red Hat (RHT), and Steelcase (SCS) are all due to report results.

Dyax (DYAX): The small cap is begun with a Buy and $3.50 price objective at Needham, which highlights its Kalbitor, an internally developed therapy for acute treatment of HAE attacks.

Education companies: Wells Fargo assigns Market Performs on American Public Education (APEI), Education Management (EDMC), Capella Education (CPLA), Corinthian Colleges (COCO), ITT Educational (ESI), Lincoln Educational Services (LINC), Strayer Education (STRA), and Universal Technical Institute (UTI). The bank begins Outperforms on Apollo Group (APOL), Ambow Education (AMBO), Bridgepoint Education (BPI), DeVry (DV), Grand Canyon (LOPE), K12 Inc (LRN), National American University (NAUH), and New Oriental Education (EDU). Got all that? Good - pop quiz to follow.

Edwards Group (EVAC): Shares are initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital, a Buy at Deutsche Bank, and an Overweight at Piper Jaffray among others.

Express (EXPR): The clothing company gets covered with a Buy at SunTrust.

Facebook (FB): Shares are a fresh Equal Weight at Evercore.

Forum Energy Technologies (FET): The stock is initiated with a Buy at Global Hunter.

Huntington Bancshares (HBAN): Shares are a new Neutral at JPMorgan.

Managed care: Cantor Fitzgerald has Holds on Aetna (AET) ($45 target), Health Net (HNT) ($27), and WellPoint (WLP) ($75). It begins Buys on both Humana (HUM) and UnitedHeath (UNH), assigning respective price objectives of $95 and $70.

Plains All American (PAA): Janney Montgomery Scott picks up PAA at a Buy.

Regional Management (RM): RM is resumed with an Outperform recommendation and $18 target price at FBR Capital.

Whole Foods (WFM): The stock, at an all time high, is initiated with a Buy and $104 target at Cantor Fitzgerald, which says underlying earnings power from existing operations and improved profitability for new stores is still not fully appreciated.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: LivePerson Looks Like Dead Money and Stock Upgrades: Say Hello to Cisco.)
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