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New Stock Coverage: AO Smith Can Keep Up With the Dow Joneses


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The Dow (^DJI) has now dropped on 14 of the past 15 Mondays, so it's just as well markets took Labor Day off. Shares snapped a four-session winning run on anemic volume after iffy manufacturing data from the New York Fed and a renewal of economic concerns across the Atlantic.

Apple (AAPL), immune as ever to downdrafts elsewhere, rose 1.23% to a fresh record while the first of its fanboys began camping out on tony Fifth Avenue. Occupy Wall Street, its own encampments several miles to the south long since dismantled, attempted to recapture some significance on the movement's first anniversary. Yet with Office Depot (ODP) continuing a recent surge by gaining another 5.26%, an admonition of the 1% from last fall ("Occupy a Desk!") seems sage advice.

CNBC said earnings look increasingly encouraging and The New York Times (NYT) said earnings appear ever more appalling. The old refrain of soccer fans who see the same match through vastly different lenses - "Just what game were you watching?" - comes to mind. Maybe that's why Manchester United (MANU) jumped 4.10%. Then again, with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (CCH) also up 2.16% on a down day, maybe Europe's unending ability to kick cans and Molotov cocktails was the real reason for strength in the stocks.

No top-tier economic data due today, but quarterly earnings announcements are expected from FedEx (FDX), Manchester United (MANU), Misonix (MSON), Schiff Nutrition International (SHF), and Versar (VSR).

AO Smith Corp (AOS): The industrial outfit is initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital.

Beazer Homes (BZH): Goldman Sachs has a new Neutral on the name and assigns it a price objective of $4.25.

Bloomin' Brands (BLMN): Deutsche Bank has a Hold, and $16 target price, on the Outback Steakhouse owner.

Bryn Mawr Bank (BMTC): BMTC is begun with a Buy at Janney Capital, whose target is $26.

Clayton Williams Energy (CWEI): Shares are a new Buy at Miller Tabak.

Groupon (GRPN): GRPN gets picked up with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

HeartWare (HTWR): WallachBeth has an Outperform and $112 objective on optimism for the HVAD, a left Ventricle Assist Device for use in Congestive Heart Failure patients.

Intrepid Potash (IPI): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Topeka, whose target is $28.

Schlumberger (SLB): SLB is begun with a Market Perform at William Blair.

SilverCrest Mines (SVLC): The stock is an Accumulate at Global Hunter.

Specialty Drug Stocks: Botox maker Allergan (AGN) is begun with a Buy at Guggenheim, which has new Neutrals on Mylan Labs (MYL) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA).

(See also: Stock Upgrades: TASER Set for Stunning Success? and Stock Downgrades: Panera Bread Fresh Out of Dough.)
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