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New Stock Coverage: MeadWestvaco Is a (Trapper) Keeper


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

We children of the '80s are now firmly middle-aged, and my how times have changed from our halcyon youth. Forget Ferris Bueller -- these days it's teachers, not students, who are playing hooky. The Trapper Keeper was a total touchstone of our schooldays, and it will always be indelibly associated with what is now MeadWestvaco (NYSE:MWV). (ACCO Brands (NYSE:ACCO) now owns the iconic product.) Yesterday shares surged 5.86% to a historic high after activist investor Starboard Value LP revealed it had taken a sizable stake in the packaging powerhouse.
Exactly one year ago this very morning stock markets worldwide were rocked by a crisis on the banks of the Bosporus, yet yesterday the bull roared back, thanks to Istanbul. Equity-friendly comments from Fed official Charles Evans, speaking in the country, sent both the Dow Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) to fresh bests. Indeed talking turkey proved pretty productive all around as poultry powerhouses Pilgrim's Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) each stepped up their billion-dollar bidding war for Hillshire Brands (NYSE:HSH). The merger Monday was more than enough to outweigh badly botched manufacturing data, which was initially erroneously reported as having fallen from the prior month's pace. This first -- and faulty -- reading flabbergasted economists, who as we know are never wrong. The reign in Spain came to an end as King Juan Carlos abdicated and Rain City learned anew that when it rains, it pours. Hometown hero Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) ended off 0.03% on a rating reduction and its crosstown neighbor Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) imploded 1.19% after being boycotted by the little guy infuriated over its strong-arm tactics in the book industry. And where are Amazon's erstwhile customers going to show support for David against Goliath? Why Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) of course. Which is a little ironic, especially on the day the Bentonville behemoth once again topped the entire Fortune 500.
Today in economics, April factory orders are forecast to contract from the figure for March at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the earnings front, Ascena Retail (NASDAQ:ASNA), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), and FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) all release results.
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes technology and grocery stocks in addition to MeadWestvaco.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT): Jefferies begins Buy-rated research. Its price objective is $28.
Emerge Energy (NYSE:EMES): Wunderlich launches the limited partnership at a Buy and assigns a $120 target price amid market share gains and a good asset mix.
Grocery Stocks: Oppenheimer assigns Outperforms on Kroger (NYSE:KR) and Supervalu (NYSE:SVU). Its respective price objectives are $55 and $10.
Hi-Crush Partners (NYSE:HCLP): Shares are established at Equal Weight ($54 target) by Barclays.
Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): Jefferies resumes the stock at a Buy with a $75 objective.
Lazard (NYSE:LAZ): The stock is an Outperform at Sanford Bernstein.
MeadWestvaco: KeyBanc Capital has a new Buy on today's headline analyst initiation. Its price target is $46.
Medley Capital (NYSE:MCC): Shares are assigned a Buy at MLV & Co, which cites a lower risk profile among other favorable factors.
RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE:RAS): RAS is resumed with a Buy and $10 target at MLV & Co. The broker believes consistent dividend increases are a distinct possibility.

Also see:
Stock Upgrades: Even Without Snow White, Huntsman Is a Fairy Tale

Stock Downgrades: Ominous New Wrinkle at Allergan
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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