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Upgrades & Downgrades: Bidding Baidu Goodbye

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Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

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Couples Retreat but equities advance. Vince Vaughn's rom-com ruled at the box office as the S&P 500 posted its first full week of unbroken gains since November 2006. The Dow ended at a fresh '09 peak of 9,864, but before breaking out the bubbly, recall that on October 9th, 2007 it stood at an all time high of 14,164. In a development which must have pacifists up in arms, a peace prize named for the inventor of dynamite was bestowed on the head of a country which promptly proceeded to bomb the moon.

Choppers came to the rescue in the Philippines and shoppers saved the day here at home as retailers reported stronger than expected September same-store sales. Crime paid as Al Capone's 407-acre hideout in woody Wisconsin sold for $2.6 million. In prime leaf peeping season, Peeps courted controversy and investors admired orange and yellow, with OJ prices surging on fears this year's crop will be a lemon and gold reaching another record. Charles Schwab (SCHW) announces its earnings, Big Blue is in fine fettle after IBM (IBM) rose 3% on Friday and bond markets are off honoring the sailor of our Ocean Blue.

Initiations

Black & Decker (BDK) Barclays begins coverage of Black & Decker with an Overweight rating and $55 price objective.

Masco (MAS): Barclays also initiates Masco (Equal-Weight; $14 target).

Upgrades

Amgen (AMGN): The pharmaceutical company is upgraded at UBS (Buy from Neutral; target up $7 to $70) as approval of denosumab could be a catalyst.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): The chipmaker gets a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade at UBS.

Credit Card Companies: Credit Suisse is giving MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) ample credit, upgrading each to Outperform from Neutral on a "secular shift" to plastic.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is boosted by Societe Generale to Hold from Sell.

PG&E: Jefferies increases PG&E to Buy from Hold and raises its price objective to $46 from $43.50.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): The retailer is outfitted in a Buy from Neutral ($45 target) upgrade at Pali Research, which sees strong international growth.

Downgrades

Baidu.com (BIDU): This tech giant is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY): The oil firm is lowered to Hold from buy at Citigroup, which takes its target to $74 from $82 as potential positives are already accounted for in its share price.

Nokia (NOK): HSBC downgrades Nokia (Neutral from Overweight) due to slow smartphone progress.

Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS): Valuations sees Deutsche Bank cut Dr. Pepper Snapple to Buy from Hold, with a $32 target.

Dreamworks (DWA): Thomas Weisel downgrades Dreamworks to Market Weight from Overweight.

Brocade Communications (BRCD): Oppenheimer takes Brocade to Perform from Outperform as a near-term acquisition is seen as unlikely.

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