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New Stock Coverage: Children's Place in Prime of Life


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Twenty-four hours after Big Ben was officially renamed in honor of QE2, Ben finally called time on the big question of QE3. Ending months of speculation, Mr. Bernanke officially announced a third round of quantitative easing and shares subsequently surged, with major indices ending at fresh multi-year highs on the news.

In eliciting a predictable Pavlovian response from drooling equity markets, the Fed stands accused of being a day early - this morning is actually Ivan's birthday - but certainly not $40 billion short. (As for the proud son of Mother Russia, he will be perturbed to see Summer Infant (SUMR) slump 1.75% to a new trough on an otherwise ebullient session in equities. Especially since Lenin's hometown generously gave couples the day off on Wednesday to procreate in the hopes they will give birth on June 12.)

The Fed's "monetary morphine" is a less exact science, but those who claim it represents little more than putting lipstick on a pig will find no friends at Revlon (REV) after it rose 6.35%. And the central bank's jawboning strategy similarly did wonders for teeth-straightening outfit Align Technology (ALGN), which advanced 1.71% to an all time peak. On the earnings front, Cubic Corp. (CUB) is among the companies due to release quarterly results today.

A manic morning in economics includes September's preliminary consumer sentiment survey from the University of Michigan at 9:55 a.m. Eastern and July business inventories at 10:00 a.m.

Acuity Brands (AYI): Shares are initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Autodesk (ADSK): The stock is a new Neutral with Wedbush, which issues a price objective of $36.

BOFI Holding (BOFI): Raymond James begins Outperform rated research on BOFI.

Children's Place (PLCE): The stock, trading at fresh 52-week peaks this week, is begun with a Buy and $71 target price at Citigroup.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (CCH): Jefferies has a Hold on the Greek company.

Consol Energy (CNX): Global Hunter covers the coal company at a Neutral and assigns a $35 target price.

French Banks: UBS begins BNP Paribas (BNPQY) with a Neutral and assigns a Sell on Société Générale (SCGLY).

Industrial Equipment: Janney Montgomery Scott starts Buys on both SPX Corp. (SPW) and W.W. Grainger (GWW).

PolyOne (POL): Jefferies picks up POL with a Buy.

Shutterfly (SFLY): Lazard launches Neutral rated coverage on SFLY.

Splunk (SPLK): Shares are a new Buy at Needham, whose target is $42. They say a 'data explosion' will prove to be a catalyst for the company.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Check's in The Mail at Post-it Maker 3M and Stock Downgrades: Spirit Airlines Shares Not Levitating Any Time Soon.)
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