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New Stock Coverage: Franklin Resources Is All About the Benjamins


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Shares surged, with investors increasingly optimistic that after umpteen failed crisis summit meetings and endless attempts at can-kicking, this time Europe is really, really determined to tackle its impending economic calamity. (Hey, believing in the Tooth Fairy has been the way to bet thus far this week.) A bond buying plan from the ECB proved a catalyst for the third best day of 2012 in equities.

Yesterday was surpassed only by June 29, when similarly high hopes over a resolution to the continent's crisis ultimately proved premature, and June 6, when... well, you get the picture. For now, however, let's cast cynicism aside and instead bask in the knowledge that the Nasdaq (^IXIC) stands at its highest level since November 15, 2000, an era so unimaginably distant it was back when Bill Clinton was still sucking up all the oxygen.

Today's quarterly earnings announcements are expected to include Brady Corp. (BRC), Kroger (KR), and Lululemon Athletica (LULU).

Alleghany Corp. (Y): The stock is initiated with a Market Perform at JMP Securities.

Athletic Apparel: Foot Locker (FL) is a new Outperform at Credit Suisse, which has Neutrals on Finish Line (FINL) and Hibbett Sporting Goods (HIBB).

Cinema Stocks: Regal Entertainment (RGC) is a new Neutral at Credit Suisse, which assigns Outperforms on Cinemark (CNK) and National Cinemedia (NCMI).

Elli Mae Inc. (ELLI): The stock is begun with a Buy recommendation and $30 price objective at Dougherty & Company, which cites the potential for further upward revisions to 2013 mortgage origination volume.

Financials: Wells Fargo has fresh Outperforms on Franklin Resources (BEN) and T. Rowe Price (TROW). Invesco (IVZ) and BlackRock (BLK) are among its Market Performs.

GameStop (GME): GME gets assigned an Outperform at Credit Suisse, whose price target is $30.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Lazard Capital.

Henry Schein Inc (HSIC): The stock is a Hold at Wallach Beth.

LivePerson (LPSN): Shares are launched with a Buy at ThinkEquity, whose target is $20.

Metals USA (MUSA): Deutsche Bank begins Buy rated research on MUSA.

Midway Gold (MDW): The small cap is surging before the bell after being initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital.

Networking Stocks: Dow (^DJI) member Cisco Systems (CSCO) is an Equal Weight at Evercore, which assigns the same rating to Juniper Networks (JNPR).

Railroads: FBR Capital initiates Outperforms on Canadian National Railway (CNI), Kansas City Southern (KSU), and Union Pacific (UNP).

SolarWinds (SWI): Shares are initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets.

Strayer Education (STRA): Shares are initiated with a Sell at Deutsche Bank.

Sunshine Heart (SSH): The stock is initiated with a Buy at Canaccord.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Priceline Going Places and Stock Downgrades: Jacobs Engineering Not Building Ladder to Stars.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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