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New Stock Coverage: Lady Luck Likes Look of Manpower

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

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Just when it looked like The New Yorker, whose money issue is now on the newsstands, would join all those cover curses of yore, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) enjoyed its single best point gain since December 2011. This after belated signs of progress in Washington to resolve our governmental gridlock. Aloha State native President Obama will have enjoyed a 2.17% jump in Hawaiian Electric (NYSE:HE), today assigned an upbeat Outperform initiation. Although our Xbox-dissing Commander in Chief could have done without a 2.09% surge in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Its stock fared far better than PlayStation owner Sony (NYSE:SNE), which lost 0.91% after receiving a ratings reduction. (The fact that its head has just admitted to owning two Nintendo (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) consoles doesn't exactly inspire confidence.) By contrast, a broker boost saw Boeing (NYSE:BA) bounce 3.87% but, to some of us, such unbridled optimism already looks like a busted flush.

Today in economics, the University of Michigan's first take on October consumer confidence is seen slipping from September's pace at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Infosys (NYSE:INFY), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) have all already released results this morning.

Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APOL): Evercore assigns an Overweight on the money manager.

Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX): Shares are resumed with a Buy at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Blackstone (NYSE:BX): The limited partnership is picked up with an Equal Weight at Evercore.

Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG): Evercore establishes Overweight research, and a $36 price objective, on the equity.

Hawaiian Electric (NYSE:HE): Wells Fargo has an Outperform on HE.

Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE:HPY): Shares are a Hold at Jefferies, whose target price is $42.

Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ:MYGN): SunTrust sets a Reduce on the stock.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI): Credit Suisse covers the company at Outperform.

Staffing Stocks: Jefferies has only a Hold on Robert Half (NYSE:RHI) but begins Buys on both ManpowerGroup Inc (NYSE:MAN) and On Assignment (NYSE:ASGN).

UMB Financial (NASDAQ:UMBF): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch launches coverage at a Buy.

Vantiv (NYSE:VNTV): The business services stock gets established with an Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Western Gas Equity Partners (NYSE:WGP): WGP is a new Outperform at Credit Suisse.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Johnson & Johnson Is Head & Shoulders Above the Rest and Stock Downgrades: All Is Not Well Inside Intel.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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