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New Stock Coverage: Beware National Bank of Greece -- a Bull Bearing Gifts?


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

Sentiment toward National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG), previously a punk PIIG, may have troughed. Shares scored not one but two broker boosts last week alone, and the stock has been on a strong run for much of the past month. A better capital position is behind much of the increased optimism, but yesterday's 5.13% fall indicates that Athenian angst hasn't entirely evaporated.
Wall Street's week still has a ways to go, and it ominously ends on Friday the 13th, but so far the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is two for two. Blue chips set another historic high, although an infinitesimal 2.82-point increase is surely indicative of a rally on its last legs. Across the Atlantic, European equities hit their best level since early 2008, a year that distinctly did not end well. It was a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race sort of session, even as Speed Stick owner Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) jumped to a fresh peak on a broker boost. Its CEO is Ian Cook and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim proved you can never have too many of those, advancing again after its split announcement. Elsewhere equities partied like it was 1999, imbued by the spirit of the Summer of '69. 1869, that is. This as a surging Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP), whose Promontory Point united our transcontinental country that May, took its 12-month increase to 30.40%, while Heinz (NYSE:HNZ), founded the same year, aims to make cars out of ketchup. Such new-age shtick certainly wouldn't pass muster with those old-school auto mechanics The Pep Boys-Manny Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) and, after its 8.08% advance, they can afford to be skeptical. Mo stocks of all stripes did indeed perform well, with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) gaining 1.23% on an analyst upgrade and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) riding its rich kids of Instagramps to a 4.60% increase.
A slow week in economics continues, with no top-tier data due today, but H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) and Restoration Hardware (NYSE:RH) each release earnings.
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes an online travel titan in addition to National Bank of Greece.

Arbor Realty Trust (NYSE:ABR): Shares are begun with a Buy and $9 price objective at MLV & Co, which cites the likelihood of earnings and dividend increases.

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN): Bank of America Merrill Lynch launches Buy-rated research.
Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE): The Internet-based travel outfit is initiated with an Outperform by BNP Paribas.
Medical Stocks: Wells Fargo assigns Outperforms on Endo International (NASDAQ:ENDP), Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ), and Mylan Labs (NASDAQ:MYL).
National Bank of Greece: Today's headline analyst initiation is established at Outperform by Credit Suisse, but Barclays, at only Equal Weight, advises greater caution.
Regado Biosciences (NASDAQ:RGDO): Jefferies has a Buy on the equity.
Shipping StocksNavios Maritime (NYSE:NM) and Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK) are each covered with Buys at Canaccord.
TrueCar (NASDAQ:TRUE): Goldman Sachs has a new Neutral on the name.

Also see:

Stock Downgrades: Boeing Going Lower

Stock Upgrades: As World Cup Begins in Brazil, Time to Head Into Amazon
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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