Walmart, TJX initiated at buy at Instinet, Ulta started at underperform

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Instinet initiated a number of retailers on Friday, calling AutoZone Inc. (price target $162), Walmart Inc. (price target $132) and Lowe’s Cos. (target price $132) its best ideas. “Our positive outlook is based on share gains in stores and online, particularly in grocery,” Instinet wrote about Walmart. “We also believe Walmart is well positioned to take advantage of a favorable consumer backdrop, but can also outperform in a weaker environment due to defensive characteristics.” On the other hand, analysts started Ulta Beauty Inc. at reduce with a $215 price target. “We believe that growth will remain slow industrywide for the near term, which, even with Ulta’s share gains, will lead to below-trend comps, a tougher margin outlook, and potential earning misses.” In off-price, buy-rated TJX Cos. (price target $65) is preferred over Burlington Stores Inc. (price target $220). Analysts rate Ross Stores Inc. neutral with $110 price target. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is up 8.3% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 23% and 18.3% respectively for the period.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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