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New Stock Coverage: Verizon Feasts on Tasty Buffett


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

Key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component Verizon (NYSE:VZ), assigned an upbeat buy recommendation this morning, has become a favorite of Warren Buffett. In a recent regulatory filing, the "Oracle of Omaha's" Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) disclosed a $528.7 million investment, equivalent to 11 million shares of the plump dividend payer.
Stocks got over the hump on Wednesday and owed it all to a Camel. Tobacco titan Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI), maker of the cigarette brand, rose 4.38% to an all-time high amid speculation it may bid for Lorillard (NYSE:LO), which itself jumped an S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX)-best 10.40%. Blue chips enjoyed their best session for four weeks after the most powerful Brooklyn-born woman in the financial world -- that would be the one on the left, not the one on the right -- opted not to rock the boat in the Bronx. Moving from Bronx cheers to whistleblowers, Edward Snowden's erstwhile employer Booz Allen (NYSE:BAH) drove investors to drink after nosediving 9.18%. US Open sponsor and wedding ring king Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) rose 9.15% to a record even as a tennis star was left at the altar. (She of all people should know that, in her sport, love means nothing.) Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) ended up 0.55% after a broker boost, even as its Merrill Lynch unit is ensnared in an investigation into money laundering. And, considering how dirty our cash is, can anyone blame them?
Today in economics, April leading indicators and existing home sales are each out at 10:00 a.m. EDT. In earnings action, expect announcements out of Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RBC), and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD).
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes a fertilizer firm in addition to Verizon.

AES Corp (NYSE:AES): Morgan Stanley starts the stock at Equal Weight. Its price objective is $15.
CF Industries (NYSE:CF): The agricultural chemical company is a new Neutral at UBS, whose target price is $268.
Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ:CSOD): Shares are a fresh Outperform ($48 objective) at FBR Capital, which cites its above-average industry growth and additional distribution capacity.
Telecoms: Sanford Bernstein picks up AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR), and Sprint (NYSE:S) at Perform. It establishes an Outperform on Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN).
Verizon: The blue chip gets begun at Outperform by Sanford Bernstein.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Facebook Finds a Friend

Stock Downgrades:
Scarlett Fever and Red Arrows at SodaStream
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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