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Buffett Interested in Bear Stearns?

Editor's Note: In this feature from Stockpickr, we highlight lists of stocks that have been upgraded by analysts, are experiencing activist situations or some other market moving events.

Rumors of the Day: Credit-battered Bear Stearns (BSC) was jumping 11% on renewed speculation about a large investment from a European or Chinese bank, according to the Associated Press. The New York Times also reported superinvestor Warren Buffett was considering a 20% stake. Bear declined to comment. The stock jumped $12.51 at $126.75.

Highland Capital Management, which owns 4.7% of PDL BioPharma (PDLI), in a letter urged the company to explore a sale and called for Chairman Patrick Gage and CEO Mark McDade to step down immediately. Dan Loeb's Third Point, another large PDL BioPharma investor, has also called for a sale and resignations of the two executives. McDade in August said he planned to step down by the end of the year. Shares added 25 cents to $21.05.

Today's Hot List: Chevron (CVX) announced a $15 billion buyback program, to be executed over the next three years. The new program follows three buybacks of $5 billion each that were completed in 2005, 2006 and September 2007. The company added 75 cents at $92.63.

General Motors (GM) and the autoworkers union have reached a tentative agreement on a new national labor contract. The pact includes the framework for an independent retiree health care trust, as well as other changes to the national agreement. GM spiked $3.39, or 9.9%, to $37.81.

Analyst Downgrades: Merrill Lynch downgraded electronic manufacturing services provider Jabil Circuit (JBL) to sell. The firm said the stock could fall 20% from current levels. Shares slumped 77 cents, or 3.1%, to $24.43.

Analyst Upgrades: Wachovia upgraded youth retailer American Eagle (AEO) to outperform from market outperform. The bank said the company is well positioned for the end of the year and raised its estimates. Shares gained $1.44 to $26.41.

Latest Activist Situations: In an amended regulatory filing on marine and heavy-duty transmission component maker Twin Disc (TWIN), investor Clarus Capital said a recent press release from the company was "highly misleading" and said the firm is interested in its 5.1% holder investment beyond the short-term. Clarus reiterated its call for Twin Disc to hire an investment bank to explore a sale of the company, saying there are parties who are interested in paying a significant premium to its current price. The stock increased $1.73 to $58.20.

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