Hot Stocks to Watch: ALKS, EQOL Among Today's Biggest Gainers

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Hoping to break a three-day losing streak, all three benchmarks were modestly in the green midday Tuesday.

Hot Stocks to WatchMonday's market slide took the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Index, and the Nasdaq each down 1%, leaving the trio in negative territory for the year. Sentiment has turned guarded, as investors worry about valuations. The result has been a notable rotation out of "momentum" stocks into value equities.

Nonetheless, a number of stocks were moving higher Tuesday on analysts' actions, earnings, and company news. Following are 12 of Tuesday's hot stocks to watch.

Today's Hot Stocks List

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) shares rose nearly 2% to $12.71 in morning trading. The aluminum giant is expected to post earnings per share (EPS) of $0.05 when it reports Q1 earning after the close. Monday, Deutsche Bank boosted its rating on Alcoa to "Hold" from "Sell" and boosted its price target to $10 from $7.20.

Alkermes Plc (Nasdaq: ALKS) soared 8.8% to $45.48 in morning trading after announcing topline results from a clinical trials of aripiprazole lauroxil in patients with schizophrenia. The Dublin-based drug giant will seek U.S. regulatory approval for the once-monthly injectable treatment in Q3 of 2014. If approved, the drug faces stiff competition from similar drugs sold by Otsuka and Lundbeck. But the schizophrenia treatment market is vast and growing. Sales hit more than $11 billion in the United States in 2013 and $20 billion-plus globally.

A. Shulman Inc. (Nasdaq: SHLM) shares jumped more than 5% intraday to $38.20, a 52-week high. The plastic supplier reported Q2 EPS of $0.39 a share, $0.06 ahead of estimates. Revenue came in at $588.51 million, better than the expected $575 million. The Fairlawn, Ohio-based company also guided higher for FY2014, saying its European segment is showing signs of improvement.

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) shares rose $1.41 to $524.90 on reports the iPhone maker could release its iWatch in Q3.

BioScrip Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOS) shares were boosted some 6% to $7.38 on positive comments from O.S.S. Capital Management's Oscar Schaefer. Speaking Tuesday on CNBC, Schaefer named the pharmacy and home health service provider one of his stock picks and also called BIOS a potential takeover target.

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) shares climbed 3% to $69.47 after Bernstein upgraded its rating on EL shares to "Outperform" from "Market Perform." Bernstein cited relative valuation, increased conviction in long-term top-line growth, and margin expansion for the upgrade. The firm also upped its price target on the cosmetic company to $79 from $73.

Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) shares jumped $13.49, or 2.43%, to $553.90 on reports the Internet search giant is in early talks to buy Skybox Imaging, a satellite imagery start-up. Goggle reportedly expressed interest earlier this year in buying drone maker Titan Aerospace, recently acquired by Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB). In other Google news, the company has licensed hotel booking software from startup Room 77 in an apparent move to expand its travel business.

Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG) shares climbed 3.35% to $7.09 in morning trading. In an interview with Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrew Marsh said PLUG has focused on fuel cell powered forklifts as a stable starting point to sustain the company, but that lifts were "never meant to be the end-all market." Marsh is looking to expand into new areas for PLUG's fuel cells, beginning with refrigerated delivery trucks and airport support vehicles, according to the report. PLUG, a name featured here at Money Morning several times since the start of the year, is the Nasdaq's best year-to-date performer.

Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) shares jumped 3%, or $6.15, to $213.86 after announcing the launch of a new financing arm and leasing program for business owners. Companies will be able to log onto Tesla's website and calculate the cost of a lease as they configure individual cars. The new Tesla finance unit will offer loans from partner banks. CEO and founder Elon Musk is aiming to increase production of its Model S car by more than 50% this year.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) shares rose 1.20% to $42.96 after social advertising agency Revolution Media reported the microblogging site generates higher click-through rates than Facebook. Additionally, in terms of growth in spending, advertisers are now investing more in Twitter. From Q3 through Q4, the amount businesses spent on Twitter increased by 71%, compared to 27% on Facebook.

US Ecology Inc. (Nasdaq: EQOL) shares surged nearly 9% to $39.48 after agreeing to buy waste management firm Environmental Quality Company for $465 million. US Ecology, which provides radioactive, hazardous, and industrial water management and recycling services, said it expects the deal to expand its geographical footprint beyond its chiefly western U.S. territory and to add to adjusted earnings this year.

Whole Foods Market Inc. (NYSE: WFM) shares climbed 3.52% to $52.50 thanks to a bullish upgrade from UBS. The investment bank added the stock to its Key Call List and boosted its price target to $70 from $62.

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