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New Stock Coverage: Getting a Kick Out of Manchester United


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The old Wall Street saying "Sell in May and go away" turned out to be singularly lousy advice in 2012, with markets up in each of the past three months en route to a stellar 10% increase. "See you in September" is invariably also best ignored, since it has historically been the worst month for stocks by some distance. (And an earthquake at America's most affluent address on Monday hardly represents the most auspicious start.)

Equities scored their longest winning streak since the spring even as NYSE trading activity fell to its lowest level in half a decade. Maple syrup may be missing but volume clearly remains flat as a pancake. Ben Bernanke called high unemployment a "grave concern" but Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG) refuses to bring Ronald Reagan back from the dead. Yet surely a resurrection of the Gipper is just what the company, which cratered 44.8% last week, and our crippled economy needs, for it was on his watch this very month an unimaginable 1.1 million jobs were created.

The current Oval Office occupant appears to be contenting himself with a strategy of four more beers and as Anheuser-Busch (BUD) rose another 1.00% on Friday to the highest level in its history, who's to argue? Bill Clinton takes to the convention podium tomorrow trying to bring back the feel-good factor of the 1990s. Based on last week's performance from Internet outfits Yelp Inc. (YELP), up 19.24%, and Pandora (P), a 20.3% gainer, it may already be here, especially with apparel icon of that era Gap Inc. (GPS) taking its year-to-date advance to over 90%.

Today in economics, the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for August and July construction spending are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Campbell Soup (CPB) and Smithfield Foods (SFD) have already reported quarterly earnings this morning.

Annie's Inc. (BNNY): Shares are initiated with a Buy at SunTrust, whose price objective is $50.

ArcelorMittal (MT): Jefferies starts the steel stock at a Buy.

Ellington Financial (EFC): EFC is assigned an Outperform at JMP Securities.

EZchip Semiconductor (EZCH): Deutsche Bank begins Buy rated research and has a $42 target price.

Manchester United (MANU): The soccer team, a recent IPO, is initiated with a Buy at Jefferies, a Buy at Deutsche Bank, an Overweight at JPMorgan, and an Outperform at Credit Suisse. Nomura, with a Neutral and $13 target, advises greater caution.

Northern Tier Energy (NTI): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America-Merrill, while Credit Suisse is equally bullish at Outperform.

Peregrine Semiconductor (PSMI): The stock is picked up with an Overweight at JPMorgan.

Performant Financial (PFMT): The stock is a new Outperform with Wells Fargo.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Coal Stocks Not Hot and Stock Upgrades: TiVo Rewinds to Glory Days.)

(See also: SEC Says Retail Investors Are Clueless About Stocks.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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