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Stock Upgrades: Alaska Air Comes in From the Cold

The long and the short of it? On his birthday , left-leaning economist John Kenneth Galbraith - who stood 6 feet, 8 inches - temporarily triumphed over laissez-faire champion Milton Friedman, who topped out at 5'0.″ (Never mind that the latter will always be the true giant to many of us.) On a bad day for capitalism, Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped by triple digits amid more political mayhem. It was an especially tall Sir Lancelot - or long knight - for Burberry (OTCMKTS:BURBY), which imploded 8.39% after Apple ( AAPL ) picked off its top executive.

With nothing else working in our nation's capital, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington did prove profitable, as FedEx's ( FDX ) CEO saw his stock surge 4.08%. Also bucking a bad tape was an upgradedMicrosoft ( MSFT ). Its PowerPoint is suddenly all the rage among Iran's mullahs . But I've bad news for the Barbie-banners ; Mattel ( MAT ) is surging some 5.42% after it beat the Street this morning.

Today in economics, the Fed will release its Beige Book, detailing economic conditions in a dozen districts, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Hump Day of the first full week for third quarter earnings announcements is upon us, with American Express ( AXP ), Bank of America (BAC), eBay Inc (EBAY), International Business Machines (IBM), and PepsiCo (PEP) among a multitude of big names due to report results.

Alaska Air (ALK): Shares, soft of late, get upgraded to Outperform from In-line Imperial Capital, which also increases its price objective by $7 to $70 from $63. The broker believes competitive concerns regarding Delta (DAL) may be overstated.

Apple Inc. ( AAPL ): Deutsche Bank adds the stock to its Short Term Buy List.

BT Group (BT): The British telecom titan is bucking a broadly lower London tape today after being added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs.

Charles Schwab (SCHW): The stock, up sharply yesterday, is now Neutral from Sell at Compass Point amid an increasingly attractive interest rate environment. Its price objective, previously $17, gets taken to $20.

Deutsche Post (OTCMKTS:DPSGY): HSBC Securities hoists the stock to Neutral from Underweight.

Edwards Lifesciences (EW): EW is increased to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Intel (INTC): The semiconductor stock, a key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, gets a Buy-from-Hold après-earnings upgrade at B. Riley & Co.

Juniper Networks (JNPR): MKM Partners takes the tech stock to Buy from Neutral.

Marsh & McLennan (MMC): Credit Suisse moves its fellow financial firm to Outperform from Neutral.

Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL): Jefferies juices its investment assessment to Buy from Hold.

Pearson (PSO): The Financial Times publisher is hoisted to Hold from Sell at Société Générale.

Sprint (S): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.

Yahoo (YHOO): Crédit Agricole raises its rating to Outperform from Underperform.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Now's Not the Time to Be Overweight Vivus and New Stock Coverage: Mice at Whole Foods? Fat Cats Don't Care .)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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