Edward Jones analyst Logan Purk recently upgraded his rating on Winona-based Fastenal Co. from hold to buy. The nuts-and-bolts distributor sells more than 1 million products through its 2,600 retail stores. But Purk likes that Fastenal is expanding into new product areas, such as industrial vending.

Purk wrote: "The [vending] machines allow Fastenal to track sales ... electronically and restock the machine as needed. The defining feature is that a customer with vending machines has sales growth nearly double the rate of the rest of the company."


Best Buy Co. Inc. reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter sales on Tuesday, sending its stock down 13 percent to under $12 per share. Best Buy had warned its third-quarter numbers would be bad. But results "were even worse than we thought," Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker said.

Credit analysts at Fitch Ratings lowered their Issuer Default Rating on Best Buy to "BB-" from "BB+" on Wednesday. Fitch says, "Best Buy faces headwinds around market share that are having an adverse impact on comparable store sales, profitability and the company's credit profile."