Publish date:

M&A Talk Moves Stocks

Bear Stearns, EchoStar, Saks, Children's Place move on investor interest and buyout speculation.

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

Rumors of the Day

: China's

Citic Bank


interested in buying a stake


Bear Stearns


. Bank President Chang Zhenming confirmed the Chinese bank's interest during a Communist Party Congress in Beijing today, according to a report by


. Bear President Jimmy Cayne has been rumored to be courting suitors to draw a cash infusion for the beleaguered brokerage firm. Shares of bear were climbing $3.19, or 2.6% to $123.88 in recent trading Tuesday.


(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

has hired Goldman Sachs to explore a deal to acquire


(DISH) - Get DISH Network Corporation Class A Report

. Reports

: "The move adds more fuel to the deal developments

first reported

last month ... and comes as Citigroup issued an analyst note saying it expects that AT&T will pay $65 a share to buy EchoStar's TV business." AT&T traded in and out of t he red, while DISH jumped 4.3% to $ 51.15.

Today's Hot List




traded higher Tuesday after Cramer speculated on

TheStreet Recommends

Monday night's "Mad Money"

that the luxury retailer could be for sale. Cramer was citing trade magazine

Women's Wear Daily

. The rumors sent Saks shares 6.7% higher to $19.98.

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report


third-quarter earnings

of $1.06 a share, 7 cents higher than the consensus estimate. Quarterly revenue rose to $14.97 billion from $13.29 billion in the same period a year earlier and higher than the consensus of $14.84 billion. J&J boosted its full-year profit outlook to $4.10 to $4.13 a share, before items. Wall Street's estimate is $4.06. Shares of the health care company dropped 0.9% to $65.04.

Analyst Downgrades

: Bear Stearns downgraded

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company (GM) Report

from peer perform to underperform, saying estimates look high, following the automaker's settlement with the UAW. GM is also highly levered to a slowing U.S. economy. GM's stock fell 3.7% to $39.60 in recent trading.

Analyst Upgrades

: JP Morgan raised its rating on

Agilent Technologies

(A) - Get Agilent Technologies, Inc. Report

from neutral to overweight and added the stock to the Focus List, with a $46 price target. The scientific-equipment maker remains a potential takeover target. Shares are up 9 cents at $ 38.27.

Latest Activist Situations

:'s 13D Tracker points to a regulatory filing on

The Children's Place

(PLCE) - Get Children's Place, Inc. Report

in which Ezra Dabah, the retail chain's former Chairman/CEO and a 17.9% shareholder is considering teaming up with outside sources to make a buyout offer for the struggling company. Dabah, who resigned from his position as CEO last month but still serves as director, has

hired Bear Stearns

as a financial advisor. The retailer of children's apparel sunk 3.3% to $23.91 in recent trading Tuesday.

Stockpickr is a wholly owned subsidiary of