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New Stock Coverage: Pawn On! First Cash Financial Set for Big Payday


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

Pawnbroking has an illustrious history, having financed Christopher Columbus fully half a millennium before Chumlee arrived on the scene. Today, payday lender First Cash Financial Services (NASDAQ:FCFS) is assigned a bullish Buy rating. The stock hasn't been a pawn star thus far this year, having fallen hard in 2014, but First Cash Financial may be about to rebound. Indeed, it recently reported an above-expected 24% increase in merchandise revenue.
Back in Columbus's era they thought the Earth was flat, but yesterday, in honor of Earth Day, socks were anything but. Wall Street appropriately went green for the occasion and even recycled the same story line for a sixth straight session. Both the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) are now on identical stellar runs. Botox (Brotox?) owner Allergan (NYSE:AGN) was an all-male affair, surging 15.25% to an historic high as Mr. Market took one look at Meg Ryan and said -- in its best When Harry Met Sally voice -- "I'll have what she's having." Moving from trout pout to a fish out of water, the financial world was rocked by news that a prized Salmon is swimming away. If Bill Ackman cleaned up on Allergan, he fared less well with Del Frisco's (NASDAQ:DFRG). The steak house where he brought forth hell for Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) dropped 1.73% on an analyst downgrade.
This morning in economics, March new home sales are expected to improve from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Hump Day of the peak week for quarterly earnings announcements is upon us, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Boeing (NYSE:BA), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) among a plethora of companies releasing results.
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes an audio outfit and dairy firm in addition to First Cash Financial.

First Cash Financial Services: Shares are assigned an Overweight at HSBC Securities, whose price objective is $60.
Harman International (NYSE:HAR): The audio firm is assigned an Outperform and $140 price objective at RBC Capital, which says it's well positioned to benefit from a secular growth trend in the automotive industry.
Interval Leisure Group (NASDAQ:IILG): Shares are an Outperform ($32 target price) at Imperial Capital, which cites its good earnings prospects.
Kroger (NYSE:KR): Wells Fargo gives the grocer a Market Perform.
Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC): Shares are started with a Buy at UBS.
Owens-Illinois (NYSE:OI): JPMorgan has a new Neutral. Its price objective is $36.
UGI Corp (NYSE:UGI): The equity is begun at an Equal Weight by Barclays.
WhiteWave Foods (NYSE:WWAV): The dairy firm is a fresh Buy at Deutsche Bank, whose target is $32.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Allergan Tells Ackman 'Take Two Poison Pills and Call Me in the Morning'

Stock Downgrades:
Time to Bid Tata Motors Goodbye
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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