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New Stock Coverage: Sushi Bar Owner Kona Grill Can Swim With the Sharks

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

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Casual dining company Kona Grill (NASDAQ:KONA), owner of sushi and steak restaurants, is currently trading higher ahead of the opening bell after being assigned a bullish buy recommendation. This, with its shares already up an impressive 48.60% in the past 12 months. The firm was founded in 1997, and has operations in some 17 states.

The capitalist manifesto went sadly unread yesterday as events in the land of Lenin saw investors throw the book at equities - including, presumably, Karl Marx's $40,000 copy of Das Kapital. More Moscow sanctions and murder in the skies above Ukraine saw the Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) drop by triple digits, even as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose 1.02% by railing against The Finland Station and slashing jobs at Nokia (NYSE:NOK), pride of Helsinki. Nordic blondes definitely didn't have more fun, then, and neither did American equivalents as Barbie, old hat among young kids, endured a torrid time of it to send corporate parent Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) sliding 6.58%. As we prepare to honor Pete Seeger amid ever increasing acrimony with Russia, no one was wistfully wondering what would happen If I Had a Hammer (and sickle) as auction house Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) tumbled 2.68% after announcing layoffs of its own. On the bright side, tool titan Snap-On (NYSE:SNA) did surge 4.06% to a historic high amid the sea of red ink.
 
Today in economics, consumer confidence comes out at 9.55 a.m. EDT and leading indicators at 10:00 a.m. On the corporate front, a frenetic first full week for Q2 earnings concludes with Bank of NY Mellon (NYSE:BNY), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Honeywell (NYSE:HON), and Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) all releasing results.
 
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes a French cosmetics company in addition to Kona Grill.

America's Car-Mart (NASDAQ:CRMT): Shares are launched at Underperform by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
 
FLIR Systems (NASDAQ:FLIR): Oppenheimer has a fresh Outperform and $40 target price on FLIR, which it says can benefit from good growth in thermal imagining.

Blackhawk Network (NASDAQ:HAWK): Shares, which surged 5.85% in yesterday's terrible tape, are covered with a Buy at Citigroup.
 
Caesarstone (NASDAQ:CSTE): Bank of America Merrill picks the stock up at a Buy.
 
Fast FoodJack In The Box (NASDAQ:JACK) is a new Neutral at Buckingham Research, which begins Buy-rated research and an $11 price objective on Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN).
 
Kona Grill: Today's headline stock is established at an upbeat Outperform with Wedbush, whose target is $24.
 
L'Oreal (OTCMKTS:LRLCY): Credit Suisse covers the company at Outperform.
 
Nimble Storage (NYSE:NMBL): Shares are resumed with a Buy at Roth Capital.
 
Smith Micro Software (NASDAQ:SMSI): Brokerage boutique H.C. Wainwright has a new Neutral on the micro cap name.
 
Tableau Software (NYSE:DATA): BMO Capital covers the company at Outperform.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Google Makes Moscow Happy

Stock Downgrades: Don't Kid Yourself, Mattel Has a Midlife Crisis With 55-Year-Old Barbie
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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