Hot Stocks to Watch Today

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U.S. equities jumped up right out of the gate Tuesday, with all three benchmarks up better than 1% just before noon. The S&P 500 Index hit yet another record high. European markets, also hammered on Monday, recovered most of what they lost in Tuesday's session.

Hot Stocks Today

While the gains were broad-based as stocks rebounded from Monday's rout, there were a number of equities moving higher on company developments, industry news, earnings, and deal making. Following are 12 of today's hot stocks to watch.

Today's Hot Stocks List

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) shares edged up roughly 1% after the company announced it will bring its mobile operating system to automobiles by the end of 2014. The company said a vehicle's in-dash display will be connected with an iPhone via a new CarPlay system. This will allow drivers to access maps, music, and messages on their iPhone using voice commands or steering wheel buttons. Also in Apple news, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said he would retire in September after 18 years with Apple.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) shares rose 1.5% to $16.55. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank got a boost after iconic investor Warren Buffett said in his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) annual shareholder letter dated March 1 that he will probably increase his position in BAC. The Oracle of Omaha said he will likely exercise options to buy 700 million additional shares prior to 2021. Buffett took a stake in BAC in August 2011. The warrants allow him to purchase BAC shares at $7.14 (about where the stock was trading at the time). Since then, the stock has more than doubled, increasing the value of Buffett's position.

CME Group Inc. (NYSE: CME) shares rose 2% to $75.75 after Argus raised its rating on the futures exchange firm to "Buy" with an $84 price target. CME shares are up nearly 25% over the last year as trading volume grew with both institutional and retail investors' trading appetite returning.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) shares jumped 5.5% after Standard & Poor's raised its outlook on the retailer's credit rating to Stable from Negative. The rating agency cited a recent stabilization in the company's performance and prospects for further modest improvement over the next year.

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