M&A Talk Moves Stocks

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

has hired Goldman Sachs to explore a deal to acquire


(DISH) - Get 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

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 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 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 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

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

The Children's Place

(PLCE) - Get 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.

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