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New Stock Coverage: Is American Express a House of Cards?


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

American Express (NYSE:AXP) has recently benefited from renewed American excess, with the charge-card king and key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component hitting a historic peak only last week. Recent catalysts include an alliance with Uber and optimism over the company's OptBlue program. Its subsequently plump stock price valuation has some market sages concerned, however.
A week that began with the 50th anniversary of Fiddler On The Roof ended with Mr. Market wondering aloud if he would ever again be a rich man. (RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) -- more zero than Zero Mostel -- sure knows the feeling.) Some stocks did manage to buck the S&P 500′s (INDEXSP:.INX) worst week in eight. The personal computer is currently getting the Mad Men treatment, made a museum piece by pop culture. Someone, however, forgot to inform industry giants Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) or Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), with both the former and latter halting their declines to catch fire after scoring broker boosts. H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) outdid even Intel's 6% advance with its 7.2% surge to a record. This, as Minnesota's own Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) today says "Top o' the mornin' to ya" by moving to Ireland to indulge in some serious tax-avoidance shenanigans. And, as the erstwhile Radio Corporation of America Building at 30 Rock prepares for yet another rebranding, we lost the most iconic radio voice of 'em all.
Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY) and Layne Christensen (NASDAQ:LAYN).
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes energy and technology equities in addition to American Express.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS): Pacific Crest picks up the stock at Outperform.
American Express: Shares are started at Sector Perform, again at Pacific Crest.
EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG): BMO Capital Markets covers the company at Outperform.
Nutrisystem (NASDAQ:NTRI): NTRI is a new Outperform at Barrington Research.
Owens & Minor (NYSE:OMI): The stock gets assigned a Market Perform with Wells Fargo.
Statoil (NYSE:STO): Jefferies starts STO at Underperform.
SunEdison Semiconductor (NASDAQ:SEMI): Shares are begun with a Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Also see:

Stock Downgrades: GNC Holdings Forgot to Take Its Vitamins
Stock Upgrades: Medtronic, Minnesota Strong Since 1949, Now Says 'Kiss Me, I'm Irish'
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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