CHANGE IN RATINGS

Baxter

(BAX) - Get Baxter International Inc. Report

downgraded at Soleil from Buy to Hold. Pricing fundamentals in the Plasma Proteins business are deteriorating. $49 price target.

Blackstone

(BX) - Get Blackstone Group Inc. Class A Report

upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral based on stabilization in asset management industry. Company has strong balance sheet, including $27 billion it could use to acquire struggling asset managers. Price target at $13.

Google

(GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report

downgraded at Benchmark from Buy to Hold. Channel checks show that online ad trends appear to be softening again. $430 price target.

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Hovnanian

(HOV) - Get Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. Class A Report

downgraded at Wachovia to Underperform. Valuation call, as the stock is up 353% since March. That said, the company should be unprofitable the next 6 quarters.

Itron

(ITRI) - Get Itron, Inc. Report

upgraded at JPMorgan to Overweight from Neutral based on upcoming ramp in smart meter deployments. See lower risk following last week's equity-raise and debt repayment, and expect 2-3 years of above average growth beginning with AMI programs in second half of 2009. Price target raised to $73 from $53.50.

MercadoLibre

(MELI) - Get MercadoLibre, Inc. (MELI) Report

upgraded at Susquehanna to Positive. $29 price target. Valuation call, based on stabilizing macro factors.

Qwest Communications

(Q)

downgraded at Argus to Sell. Company looks desperate and may not raise as much as expected for its long-distance network.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Arrow Electronics

(ARW) - Get Arrow Electronics, Inc. Report

numbers raised at Credit Suisse to $21 from $18.50. Management implemented a strategy that will focus on high growth vertical markets, demand creation, value-added content, and solution selling. Maintained Neutral rating.

Big Five Sporting Goods

(BGFV) - Get Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation Report

numbers raised at Credit Suisse to $14 from $9. Cites a positive outlook, management is confident in their long term market share and valuation. Maintained Neutral rating.

Corn Products

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(CPO)

2009 numbers increased at Morgan Stanley. Company is benefiting from higher corn values and positive currency moves. Equal-weight rating and new $27 price target.

Kimberly-Clark

(KMB) - Get Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) Report

numbers raised at Credit Suisse through 2010. Company will benefit from a weaker dollar. Outperform rating and new $63 price target.

MetLife

(MET) - Get MetLife, Inc. (MET) Report

estimates, target raised at Morgan Stanley to $43. Estimates also boosted, to reflect cost-cutting and re-investment into more productive assets. Overweight rating.

Merck

(MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Report

target raised at Credit Suisse to $32 from $27. Following the SGP acquisition, the outlook forecasts a lower risk/higher reward scenario, and provides strong strategic and financial qualities in the long run. Maintained Neutral rating.

NYSE Euronext

(NYX)

target raised at Credit Suisse to $27 from $23. Increased volume in all asset classes and some abatement of FX headwinds led to the raise in numbers. Maintained Neutral rating.

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report

target raised at Citigroup to $24 from $21. Expectations of seasonally strong Q4 results and the closing of the SunMicro acquisition led to the raise in numbers. Maintained Buy rating.

O'Reilly Automotive

(ORLY) - Get O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. Report

numbers raised at Merrill/BofA through 2011. CSK integration appears to be on track. Buy rating and new $45 price target.

Praxair

(PX)

target increased Jefferies to $88. Company is leveraged to a positive pricing cycle and should see ongoing productivity gains. Buy rating.

Southwestern Energy

(SWN) - Get Southwestern Energy Company Report

target boosted at Keybanc to $55. Company remains positioned well to grow over the next few years. Buy rating.

AT&T

(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

cut from Conviction Buy List at Goldman. Stock has trailed the market and wireless competition has increased. Buy rating and $32 price target.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.