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New Stock Coverage: Tough Task for Burger King to Regain Its Crown


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Spain and McDonald's (MCD), neither of whom are noted for their benevolence towards bulls, killed off Wall Street's animal spirits to start the week. Concerns that Valencia may be next to need a bailout twinned with disappointing earnings from the blue chip to send the Dow Average (^DJI) down by triple-digits, though shares did end well off the day's worst levels.

In merger Monday activity, Calgary's Nexen (NXY) jumped 51.82% after being bought for US$15.1 billion. (Don't ask what that is in Canadian currency; the calculation is too hot to handle.) Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET) satisfied investors' Monday morning caffeine fix by surging 27.80% on news it is to be acquired for about $1 billion by a German company. Berlin may now, however, need a slightly stronger beverage after it was revealed that Moody's (MCO) cut the country's credit outlook.

It's a torrid Tuesday for quarterly earnings announcements, with Apple (AAPL), AT&T (T), Biogen Idec (BIIB), DuPont (DD), EMC Corp. (EMC), Netflix (NFLX), SAP AG (SAP), United Parcel Service (UPS), and Whirlpool (WHR) all expected to release results.

Akamai Technology (AKAM): Shares are initiated with an Outperform by William Blair.

American International Group (AIG): AIG is initiated with an Overweight at Evercore.

AOL Inc. (AOL): The stock is a new Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which establishes a price objective of $33.

Burger King (BKW): The stock is a Neutral at Credit Suisse, whose target price it $16.

Dunkin' Brands (DNKN): Shares are initiated with a Neutral at Janney Capital.

Education Stocks: Apollo Group (APOL) is an Overweight at JPMorgan, which has new Neutrals on both Bridgepoint Education (BPI) and Capella Education (CPLA).

Fast Food: Brinker International (EAT) is a new Neutral at Davenport, which begins Buys on Bravo Brio Restaurant (BBRG), Darden Restaurants (DRI), and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB).

HSN (HSNI): Shares are initiated with a Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

JC Penney (JCP): The stock is a new Neutral at Atlantic Equities and an Outperform at Oppenheimer.

ServiceNow (NOW): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Bleak Future for Fossil and Stock Upgrades: Talisman Energy a Good Luck Charm.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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