Stocks quoted in this article:
Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) is among the largest brokerage firms in the world. Its size is poised to increase dramatically in the near future, as it is acquiring Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette.
This morning well ahead of the open, the brokerage firm initiated coverage on a number of retailers. Electronics retailers Circuit City Stores (CC 19-13/16) and Best Buy (BBY 43-1/8) were initiated with a "buy" and "strong buy" rating, respectively. Office-supply names Office Depot (ODP 6-7/16) and OfficeMax (OMX 3) each debuted with "hold" ratings, while competitor Staples (SPLS 11-1/4) was named a "buy." Toys "R" Us (TOY 15-7/16) was also named a "hold" in new coverage at CSFB. Home-improvement retailers Home Depot (HD 35-15/16) and Lowe's (LOW 38-1/4) were each listed as "buys," and AutoZone (AZO 24-11/16) was named a new "buy" as well. Finally, CSFB started booksellers Barnes & Noble (BKS 17-5/8) and Borders Group (BGP 13-3/8) with a "buy" and a "hold" rating, respectively.
The return on all of these retailing names today is primarily slanted to the negative. All of the aforementioned equities are lower on the day, except for SPLS, which is modestly higher and BGP, which is flat. BBY and HD are the steepest laggards today, pulling back 6.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.<