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Stock Upgrades: PetSmart, Inc. in the Catbird Seat


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

Ben Bernanke was bedeviled with microphone problems as he took to Capitol Hill, but the Fed head eventually made money talk. Shares posted modest increases as our central banker spoke softly and took his big schtick of policy accommodation to Congress. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was book-ended by two blondes. Marissa Mayer's Yahoo (YHOO) surged 10.34% to top the index, which was propped up by a 6.84% slide in Barbie's Mattel (MAT). Elsewhere, our Russian comrades went old school by buying typewriters. This as its onetime Communist cousin Vietnam likely already regrets welcoming McDonald's (MCD) with open arms. Its shares bucked an up day after getting downgraded.

This morning in economics, July's Philadelphia Fed Index and June leading indicators are each released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Bernanke concludes his two-day testimony on Capitol Hill. And earnings announcements are expected out of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), BlackRock (BLK), Capital One Financial (COF), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Morgan Stanley (MS), Nokia (NOK), United Health (UNH), and Verizon (VZ).

Bally Technologies (BYI): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel on optimism over its purchase of SHFL entertainment (SHFL).

Crédit Agricole (CRARY): Citigroup lifts the French financial firm to Buy from Neutral.

Duke Energy (DUK): The electric utility is added to UBS' Global Top Stock List.

Edwards Lifesciences (EW): EW is lifted to Outperform from Perform at Northland Capital, whose price objective is $74.

European Airlines: easyJet (ESYJY) and Ryanair (RYAAY) are each showing strength in today's London trading after getting unusual 180 degree (Overweight from Underweight) increases at JPMorgan.

Exelon (EXC): The nuclear power play gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Drexel Hamilton.

Forest Oil (FST): Shares are moved to Equal-Weight from Underweight by Morgan Stanley.

Panasonic (PCRFY): Deutsche Bank boosts the Japanese consumer electronics giant to Buy from Hold.

PetSmart, Inc. (PETM): UBS adds the equity to its list of Global Top Stock Picks.

Peugeot (PEUGY): The car company is increased to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Pinnacle Financial (PNFP): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.

Quality Systems (QSII): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Underweight.

Xilinx (XLNX): The tech name, downgraded elsewhere today, is also upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Lazard.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc Prepares to Party and Stock Downgrades: eBay Inc's Attic Is Empty.)
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