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Stock Upgrades: PetSmart, Inc. in the Catbird Seat

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

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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.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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