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New Stock Coverage: Hillshire Has Mountain to Climb


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks dropped, snapping a two-day win streak for the Dow (^DJI), though markets did rebound sharply in the final 90 minutes. Indeed, an hour and a half was all it took Italy to prevail over Germany at precisely the same time, at least in sport. Evidence that the latest eurozone crisis summit was proving marginally more productive than the previous 18 was the catalyst for a late comeback.

An all-too-accurately named "permanent bailout" fund may now be tapped across the Atlantic, further brightening the outlook this morning. (To be fair, when the east and west sides of Manhattan remain such a mystery to each other - their rivalry could quite literally erupt into fireworks next week - it's a minor miracle 17 separate countries have held together this long.)

Demonstrating a work ethic not normal for an EU member, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti promised to keep the summit going until Sunday if an agreement has not been reached. One suspects, however, that he will be otherwise engaged in 48 hours, watching an eerily perfect PIIGS Euro 2012 soccer final. Thanks to two goals from a truly Super Mario - Balotelli - the country shaped like a boot will face Spain, the best fútbol team on Earth, to decide who is crowned kings of the continent. Little wonder Europe is so adept at kicking the can. Just don't ask Aetna (AET) to pick up the tab for the resultant $66,100 bunions. Shares slid 2.71% after the Supreme Court ruled on healthcare.

This morning in economics, June's Chicago Purchasing Managers Index is due at 9:45 a.m. Eastern, with the University of Michigan's final figure for this month's consumer confidence arriving at 9:55 a.m. In earnings action, quarterly results are expected from Constellation Brands (STZ), Finish Line (FINL), and KB Home (KBH).

Advisory Board (ABCO): Shares are initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James.

AOL Inc. (AOL): ThinkEquity has a Hold on the stock.

Arctic Cat (ACAT): ACAT is assigned an Outperform at BMO Capital.

Diodes (DIOD): Shares are begun with a Buy recommendation and $20 price objective at Needham, which says it has the potential to grow rapidly with the next upswing in end market demand.

Facebook (FB): Macquarie starts the social network at Neutral.

FX Alliance (FX): FX is a fresh Outperform at Keefe Bruyette.

Hillshire Brands (HSH-WI): The Sara Lee (SLE) spin-off, whose meat offerings include Ball Park Hot Dogs and Jimmy Dean's sausages, is a new Neutral at DA Davidson. The price target is $28.

Infoblox (BLOX): BLOX gets begun at a Neutral with Wedbush.

Navidea Biopharma (NAVB): The small cap is covered with a Buy at ThinkEquity.

Patterson Companies (PDCO): Piper Jaffray picks up PDCO at an Overweight.

Plum Creek (PCL): Shares are resumed with an Outperform at Raymond James.

ProAssurance (PRA): PRA is initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities.

Proto Labs (PRLB): Jefferies has a Hold on the name.

JM Smucker (SJM): The company is begun with a Buy at Davenport.

Triumph Group (TGI): Goldman Sacks begins Buy rated research on TGI.

VeriFone (PAY): Shares are initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: BMW on Road to Riches and Stock Downgrades: Nike Just Not Doing It.)
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