Urban Outfitters is upgraded at 2 firms, and Seattle Genetics is initiated with a 'hold.'
Retail stocks are fluctuating on earnings reports and analyst calls.
AstraZeneca is downgraded to 'underweight,' and Oracle is initiated with a 'buy.'
The stock jumps 21% after the retailer reported a quarter of gains at its Ann Taylor and Loft stores.
Stocks get a modest boost from better-than-expected consumer confidence reading and leading economic indicators reports.
But they are more reluctant to drop their money at Starbucks.
Leading economic indicators are also up. Global markets climb as Germany's Merkel backs the euro and the ECB. Apple hits a new high. Gap beats estimates, while Aeropostale misses. Marvell's results disappoint, and Groupon drops on a downgrade.
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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.