The Associated Press

Among the premarket stories for Wednesday, Dec. 2, from AP Financial News:

¿ While the retirement of McDonald's Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Ralph Alvarez is disappointing, the casual restaurant chain has a deep enough management team to continue to fare well after his departure, an analyst said.

¿ Shares of Santarus Inc. soared in premarket activity after the Food and Drug Administration approved an over-the-counter version of the company's prescription heartburn drug Zegerid.

¿ A Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst upgraded bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd., saying the public offering of 23.9 million shares announced late Monday will help shore up its capital base and protect its investment-grade rating.

¿ Shares of KB Home rose in premarket trading after a Credit Suisse analyst upgraded the homebuilder, saying he expects a benefit from a possible tax refund, and he anticipates growth in new orders this spring.

¿ Housing construction is picking up and demand is expected to rise for products from Beacon Roofing Supply Inc., an analyst said as he raised his rating on the company.

¿ Shares of Pepco Holdings Inc. will have a difficult time outperforming the market after a big rise in recent weeks, said an analyst as he downgraded the stock.

¿ A Credit Suisse analyst upgraded MDC Holdings Inc., saying the homebuilder's balance sheet is solid and that the company is "aggressively" looking to buy land.

¿ DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. should get a boost next year from the film "How to Train Your Dragon," a Janney Montgomery Scott analyst said as he upgraded the company's stock.
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