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New Stock Coverage: Profit From Pawn Stars


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

On the eve of Valentine's Day, investors enjoyed playing footsie, as London's FTSE 100 Index ended at its highest level since May 2008. Alas on this side of the Atlantic, shareholders lost a little of that loving feeling, with the Dow (^DJI) dropping back below 14,000. General Electric (GE), whose best known CEO was famous for his robust romantic life, added 3.59% to easily best all blue chips after selling its iconic 30 Rock office building for big bucks.

Lunch is for wimps? Not for the men who enjoyed their midday meal way up in the sky while working on its construction during the depths of the Depression, as seen in one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Breakfast at Tiffany's (TIF) may be the safer option today, especially after "Tiffany Network" CBS Corp. (CBS) advanced to a new lifetime high. Its logo is of course an eye, and John Boehner keeping his dry for once during the State of the Union may have helped the stock.

Unfortunately Marco Rubio's well-documented dry mouth, apparently the biggest scandal to hit Washington since Watergate, did nothing for Poland Spring owner Nestlé (PINK:NSRGY), which is tumbling by the most since October over in Europe this morning after announcing earnings. Also across the pond, French pen-maker Société Bic (PINK:BICEY) endured its steepest slide in almost 16 months, shareholders recoiling in horror after it became obvious that a person with singularly awful penmanship is well on course to becoming our next Treasury Secretary.

It's another relatively uneventful day in economic data but corporate earnings announcements are expected to include Agilent (A), BNP Paribas (PINK:BNPQY), CBS Corporation (CBS), DirecTV (DTV), General Motors (GM), Iberdrola (PINK:IBDRY), Molson Coors (TAP), PepsiCo (PEP), and Rolls-Royce (PINK:RYCEY).

Pawnbrokers: Credit Service stocks Cash America International (NYSE:CSH) and First Cash Financial Services (NASDAQ:FCFS), each of which ended at fresh 52-week peaks yesterday, are covered at Telsey Advisory Group. Although Telsey does not offer official research recommendations, it says CSH should see double-digit earnings per share gains amid margin expansion in its e-commerce business. As for FCFS, its competitive edge rests in being the first to roll out full-format pawn stores in Mexico, which now produces more than 50% of the firm's revenue. The respective price objectives are $54 and $57.

Procter & Gamble (PG): The Dow (^DJI) member is picked up with a Buy rating and $87 price objective at Canaccord.

Summit Hotel (INN): Cantor Fitzgerald covers the company at a Buy, assigning a $10.50 target price. It is seen as an attractive small-cap lodging Real Estate Investment Trust that sports a healthy dividend yield.

Tractor Supply (TSCO): Shares are assigned a Buy at UBS, whose objective is $117.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Get to Know Your Nabors and Stock Downgrades: Blue Nile Up a Creek on Valentine's Day?)
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