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New Stock Coverage: Electronic Arts Inc. Is Pretty as a Picture


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

The dog days of August began in fine form on Wall Street as the Dow (^DJI) and S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) each attained records to start the month. (Felines fared pretty well too, what with Arctic Cat (ACAT) surging 2.22% to the highest level in its history even as Nasdaq (^IXIC) closed at levels not seen since September 2000, the month the musical Cats closed on Broadway.) Among especially impressive canines yesterday were Snoopy's MetLife (MET), which surged 6.30%, and the howling pooches of Ruckus Wireless (RKUS), a 10.44% gainer. Procter & Gamble (PG), producer of IAMS dog food, advanced 1.67% after earnings, proving that even Bill Ackman is occasionally able to make money in this market. Hot dogs did okay, too, as Wienermobile owner Kraft Foods (KRFT) posted good gains ahead of its earnings announcement. (As for that other Weiner, the candidate's gaff-prone campaign was a gift to Visa (V). That stock jumped 1.22% to recover some of its prior session's mauling after "Carlos Danger's" communications guru gave the credit card company unexpected publicity.)

Today's economic data includes factory orders for June, which are expected to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. The final full week of Q2 earnings releases ends with Allianz (AZSEY), Axa Group (AXAHY), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), Cablevision (CVC), CBOE Holdings (CBOE), Chevron (CVX), Furmanite (FRM), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Toyota Motor (TM), and Viacom (VIAB) all slated to report results.

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA): The video games maker, whose titles include Madden NFL and Medal of Honor, is begun with a Buy recommendation and $30.83 price objective at The Benchmark Company. Catalysts include cost controls, digital product growth, and expectations for the firm's Battlefield 4.

Summit Midstream Partners (SMLP): RBC Capital resumes coverage at Outperform.

Utilities: Drexel Hamilton has a Hold on Calpine (CPN) and begins Buys on both Dynegy (DYN) and NRG Energy (NRG).

(See also: Stock Upgrades: LinkedIn Corp Parties Like It's 1999 and Stock Downgrades: United Stationers Inc. Not Worth the Paper It's Written On?)
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