Companies spent $821 billion on dividends and buybacks in the past year, and the gravy train is showing no signs of letting up.
Tata Motors is upgraded to 'conviction buy,' and Francesca's is downgraded to 'neutral.'
Family Dollar is downgraded to 'equal weight,' and FedEx is initiated with a 'buy.'
Allergan is downgraded to 'hold,' and AMD is upgraded to 'outperform.'
LeapFrog is initiated with an 'overweight,' and Beazer Homes is downgraded to 'neutral.'
Cheesecake Factory is upgraded to 'neutral,' and Intuit is downgraded to 'neutral.'
Garmin is initiated with an 'outperform,' and Transocean is downgraded to 'sell.'
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The company is scrambling to protect its equities arm, which could face declining volume and revenue as competitors close the gap.
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.
Casual dining restaurant chains have jumped on the happy hour train with deals on drinks and snacks -- maybe enough for dinner.
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