Tyson Foods is downgraded to 'neutral,' and 3D Systems is initiated with a 'buy.'
Lennar is downgraded to 'neutral,' and VMware is upgraded to 'outperform.'
In Japan, the Nikkei Index closed lower, breaking an eight-session winning streak that pushed the index to record breaking highs.
Stocks manage to withstand a disappointment from the biggest name in technology on the strength of some other encouraging earnings reports.
The US airline's stake in Aeromexico creates a leading airline alliance in the Mexico-US market.
Vertex is upgraded at several firms, and Electronic Arts is both upgraded and downgraded.
SanDisk is downgraded to 'hold,' and Riverbed is downgraded at 3 firms.
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With the universe of this category in its seasonal sweet spot, these picks have tailwinds propelling them into the new year.
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
The IRS is struggling to combat identify thieves who file fraudulent tax returns in the names of older residents who don't need to file.