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New Stock Coverage: American Express Company Set to Stall?

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

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On the day George H. W. Bush, long known for skydiving on his birthdays, entered his 90th year, stocks paid appropriate homage to the former president by falling down to earth. (Grocery giant Safeway (SWY) is admittedly surging some 22.28% before this morning's opening bell, but Ronald Reagan's successor never much cared for supermarkets.)

Imploding equities in Athens dropped another 3.2% as the Greek government tried to close the national broadcaster. (Lately the only source of amusement in that beleaguered land.) On an awful day for the Dow (^DJI), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) rose 2.76% to best all blue chips after announcing its half-decade long turnaround timetable is ahead of schedule. Stalin's five year plans for agriculture were not quite as successful, but then again Uncle Joe could never call upon crop stock Ceres, Inc. (CERE), which surged 77.27% to top all Nasdaq (^IXIC) issues.

And Goldman Sachs (GS) got legless, downgrading Legg Mason (LM) even as it boosted Boston Beer (SAM). Booz Allen (BAH), down another 3.50%, could use a drink.

Today in economics, April business inventories are expected to tick up slightly at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Casey's General Stores (CASY) are both due to report results.

American Express Company (AXP): The key Dow (^DJI) component is picked up with a Perform at Oppenheimer. The broker believes AXP - now trading at about 16 times its 2013 earnings per share estimates, having hit an historic high on Monday - is now due a breather.

Angie's List Inc (ANGI): Wunderlich has a Hold and $25 target price amid ongoing losses related to marketing expenditure.

Bank of the Ozarks Inc (OZRK): The regional bank is resumed with a Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette.

The Boeing Company (BA): Morgan Stanley starts the blue chip at Overweight.

Capital One Financial Corp. (COF): Shares are assumed with an Outperform and $69 price objective at Oppenheimer.

Discover Financial Services (DFS): Citing the credit card company's impressive diversification efforts, Oppenheimer sets an Outperform with a $55 target price.

Henry Schein, Inc. (HSIC): Wells Fargo establishes Outperform-rated research on the dental and diagnostic device outfit.

Ingredion Inc (INGR): The processed and packaged goods name is a new Equal Weight at Barclays.

The Madison Square Garden Co (MSG): Shares are a new Neutral at Sterne Agee.

Media & Entertainment: Sterne Agee starts Buys on AMC Networks Inc (AMCX), Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA), Starz (STRZA), Time Warner Inc (TWX), and Viacom, Inc. (VIAB). It has a new Neutral on Dow member The Walt Disney Company (DIS) and an Underperform on Dreamworks Animation Skg Inc (DWA).

MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. (MWIV): Shares are initiated with an Outperform at Wells.

Progessive Waste Solutions Ltd (BIN): BIN is begun with a Market Perform at BMO Capital.

TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP): The online travel outfit is begun with a Buy at Wunderlich, which assigns a $75 objective on a stock it says can benefit from mobile monetization.

Trulia Inc (TRLA): Morgan Stanley starts the stock at Underweight.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Bulls Run on Adidas AG and Stock Downgrades: Waste Management, Inc. Sent to Sin Bin.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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