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New Stock Coverage: Elan Lacks a Little Panache


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Markets and mercury both headed inexorably higher, even if the summer heat wave proved much more powerful than the puny weekly gains posted by both the Dow Average (^DJI), up 0.36%, and S&P 500 Index (^GSPC), a 0.43% gainer.

Wal-Mart (WMT), whose heirs have plenty to spare, touched $73.46, the highest level ever for a firm that is Earth's second largest employer. Second only to the Chinese army, in fact, and how Yum Brands (YUM) must now regret ever doing battle in Beijing. The owner of Colonel Sanders' KFC suffered a serious setback in the land of General Tso, reporting a 4.1% fall in quarterly profit in the country.

No fewer than 175 of the S&P 500 are expected to announce quarterly earnings this week. Today's key Q2 results include African Barrick Gold (ABGLF), Celanese Corp (CE), Hasbro (HAS), McDonald's (MCD), Steel Dynamics (STLD), Texas Instruments (TXN), and VMware (VMW).

Apricus Biosciences (APRI): Ascendiant Capital starts the small cap with a Strong Buy and assigns it a $6 target price. Catalysts include an emerging portfolio of drugs to treat oncology.

Biotechs: Leerink Swann launches Irish drug maker Elan (ELN) at Market Perform. It assigns more upbeat Outperforms on Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR), Biogen (BIIB), and Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR).

Chesapeake Midstream Partners (CHKM): Shares are reinstated with an Overweight by Barclays.

Cinema Stocks: Goldman Sachs has new Neutrals on Cinemark (CNK) and Regal Entertainment (RGC). It rates IMAX Corp. (IMAX) a Buy.

EQT Midstream Partners (EQM): EQM is initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank, whose target is $27.

Exa Corp. (EXA): The application software outfit is assigned an Outperform at Robert W. Baird and begun with a Buy at Needham. The respective price objectives are $13 and $14.

Open Text (OTEX): The stock is a new Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Tesaro (TSRO): Baird begins the biotech at Outperform and establishes a price objective of $19. Clinical profiles of early-stage cancer therapeutics TSR-011 and niraparib should emerge early next year.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Walgreen Unable to Avoid Sea of Red and Stock Upgrades: Light at End of Tunnel for Illumina.)
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