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Double Dip-Fear Winners: BP, AstraZeneca

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Tuesday was not an easy day for stocks, with double-dip fears sending the major market indexes down to big losses. In fact, the only stock among the 30 most actively traded stocks on the New York Stock Exchange to finish Tuesday's trading session up was BP (BP).

BP gained more than 2% on Tuesday and was the fifth most active stock on NYSE, with more than 67 million shares traded. Of course, BP sank to a new oil-spill low share price last Friday at $27, so its rise to $27.67 on Tuesday was still relative to its stock price freefall over the past two months.

While BP and the U.S. Coast Guard had to call off the oil spill cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico due to high winds from Hurricane Alex, BP shares were provided a boost by the latest takeover rumors.


A report from JPMorgan Chase London investment banking affiliate JPMorgan Cazenove indicated that the major oil companies may be gearing up for a BP takeover attempt. JPMorgan cited Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A.) as potential BP acquirers, and argued that the oil companies would seek to avoid anti-trust issues by spinning off BP's downstream business.

The BP takeover rumors are tied to fears of a BP bankruptcy, and there were also reports on Tuesday that the Federal Reserve Bank had begun an investigation of major financial firms to make sure that a BP failure would not sink the markets. Some trading firms, most notably Bank of America, have instructed traders to not accept any trades involving BP with a duration more than one year.

BP wasn't the only stock that managed to buck the pessimistic trend on Tuesday, even if it was the lone gainer among the top 30 traded NYSE stocks.

A total of five stocks on NYSE trading more than one million shares on Tuesday managed to generate positive returns. The other four stocks were: Raser Technologies (RZ), AstraZeneca (AZN), IDT (IDT) and Worthington Industries (WOR).

Stock quotes in this article: BP, BWEN, GIGM, AZN, IDT, RZ, WOR, WAIN 

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