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New Stock Coverage: Manpower Can Lift Mr. Market

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

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US stock markets slumped for a second straight week, with the Dow Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) each dropping an identical 1.65%, as the fabled "Santa Claus rally" proved no match for a man with a white beard. Ben Bernanke, who holds his final press conference as Fed head on Wednesday, continued to spook stateside investors with taper talk. The news was equally bad across the Atlantic, where London's FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) fell for a sixth successive week. (And this despite influential English economic guru Ed Balls, the man with the finest last name in finance, masquerading as Father Christmas while voting on a banking bill.) With equities having now slumped in seven of nine sessions, you could say "Wall Street Lays An Egg," except Variety got there first in 1929. Fast-forward 84 years, and an exclusive from the same Hollywood mouthpiece that Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) was mulling a bid for Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI) sent the latter stock surging 9.1%. Tinseltown, however, hardly cared, as it bid a tearful goodbye to twin giants Joan Fontaine and Peter O'Toole. George Bush, whose short syntax was Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) 25 years before Twitter ("Not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent. At this juncture."), joined the pithy platform just in time to see it surge 31.26%, as "1,000 points of light" warmed up to 140 characters aged 89. And Wall Street was rocked by rumors of a bipartisan budget deal in DC. Yeah, right. It'll snow by the bonnie banks of the Nile when that happens.

It's a relatively quiet day for quarterly earnings announcements that may move US stock markets, but FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) and L&L Energy (NASDAQ:LLEN) each release results.

Analogic (NASDAQ:ALOG): Brean Capital begins coverage at a Buy. Its price objective is $100.

Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG): Shares are covered with an Outperform at BMO Capital Markets, whose target price is $47.

Caesars Acquisition (NASDAQ:CACQ): The stock is a new Outperform ($13 target) at Credit Suisse.

Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS): Stock in uniform provider Cintas is a new Neutral at Credit Suisse, whose objective is $56.

Evogene (NYSE:EVGN): Credit Suisse covers the company at Outperform, assigning a $25 target. Future catalysts include impressive margin royalties related to seed products.

Impax Labs (NASDAQ:IPXL): Shares are resumed with a Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Manpower (NYSE:MAN): Manpower stock is a new Outperform at Credit Suisse, whose price objective is $95. Manpower is a provider of staffing and outsourcing services.

Navigator Holdings (NYSE:NVGS): Shipping stock Navigator Holdings is begun bullishly by both Evercore (Overweight) and Jefferies (Buy with a $28 target). However, Morgan Stanley (Equal Weight with a $22 target) advises greater caution.

Pentair (NYSE:PNR): Nomura picks up PNR at Neutral.

PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH): UBS covers the clothing company, formerly known as Phillips-Van Heusen, with a Buy.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Monster Beverage, Barbarian at the Gate of Your Portfolio, Begs to Be Let In and Stock Downgrades: Time To Play Monday Morning Quarterback on Twitter)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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