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New Stock Coverage: Phillips 66 on Route to Riches


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL And on the seventh day, stocks rose. Shares snapped a six-session slump on Friday, their best showing in July enabling the Dow (^DJI) and S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) to each end up on the week, albeit by only 0.04% and 0.16% respectively. Investors were reassured when China, whose data can always be relied upon, kept the three bears at bay by posting Goldilocks-like growth of 7.6% for the second quarter. (Must be all those Team USA uniforms being made in Beijing.)

Elsewhere Italy had its sovereign debt slashed by Moody's (MCO) after a careful consideration of the available data. Namely a new study that showed that four in ten Italians can't swim -- hardly ideal for a nation drowning in debt. Over in Paris, Peugeot (PEUGY), whose cars are a mainstay of France's fleet of cabs, chose the eve of Bastille Day to fire 14,000 workers. In the wise words of Johnny Depp's former paramour: "Where have you gone, Joe le taxi? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you." Mitt Romney came under attack for outsourcing but somebody forgot to tell India's Infosys (INFY), the industry leader touching a new low to take its 12-month tumble to 34.36%.

Earnings season kicks into high gear this week with over 200 companies due to report Q2 results. Today's releases are expected to include Charles Schwab (SCHW), Citigroup (C), and Gannett (GCI).

Amerisafe (AMSF): Shares are initiated with a Perform rating at Keefe Bruyette.

Dana Holding (DAN): The company is a new Neutral at Lazard.

Enbridge Energy (EEP): Credit Suisse covers the energy outfit at Outperform.

Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX): The stock is resumed with an Outperform at Leerink Swann.

Pall Corp (PLL): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch picks up PLL at an Underperform.

Phillips 66 (PSX): The recent spin-off is a new Outperform at Oppenheimer, which assigns it a price objective of $42. Catalysts include an intention to grow its cash dividend and repurchase shares. (PCLN): Shares are picked up at Overweight with Atlantic Equitiess

PROLOR Biotech (PBTH): The small cap is begun with a Buy rating and $12 target price at Aegis Capital.

REITs: Simon Properties (SPG): is added to the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs, which also begins Buys on DDR Corp. (DDR), Kimco Realty (KIM), CBL & Associates (CBL), and Entertainment Properties (EPR). The bank has new Neutrals on General Growth Properties (GGP), Glimcher Realty Trust (GRT), and Taubman Centers (TCO). It starts Sells on Realty Income (O) and Regency Centers (REG).

Verisk Analytics (VRSK): Shares are assigned an Outperform at William Blair.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: GE All Out of Juice? and Stock Upgrades: Check Into Starwood Hotels.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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