Hot Stocks to Watch Today: DDS, JCP, RAX, and 9 More Movers

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Today's list of hot stocks to watch includes a retailer hitting an all-time high, a healthcare giant inking a $2.9 billion deal for a Latin American drug company, a couple of companies climbing on Warren Buffett buys, and a Chinese jeweler surging on robust sales of its original gold coin.

Check out these 12 hot stocks on the move Friday, and find out what's behind their action.

12 Hot Stocks to Watch Today

Hot Stocks
Abbott Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: ABT) starts off our list of hot stocks to watch today. Shares rose nearly 1% to $39.79 in morning trading on M&A news. The Abbott Park, Ill.- based healthcare company agreed Friday to buy Chilean drug company CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion. With the acquisition, Abbott aims to bolster its offering of branded generic drugs in Latin America. CFR is based in Santiago, Chile.

Applied Material Inc. (NYSE: AMAT) shares jumped 7% to $20.29 after reporting a 19% increase in Q2 sales. The semiconductor company also swung to a profit and posted its best operating margin in nearly three years. Santa Clara, Calif.-based AMAT anticipates sales in the current quarter will rise another 13% to 19% from the same period a year ago.

Dillard's Inc. (NYSE: DDS) shares soared nearly 15% to an all-time high of $110.09 on solid Q1 2014 earnings. The fashion apparel, cosmetics, and home furnishings retailer reported Q1 earnings per share (EPS) of $2.56, comfortably better than consensus estimates of $2.41. Revenue came in at $1.55 billion, a tad shy of the $1.6 billion expected. Comparable sales, however, rose 2% year over year. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) William Dillard said in a statement the 2% increase in same-store sales marked the 15th consecutive quarter of positive sales.

Earthstone Energy Inc. (NYSE: ESTE) shares surged nearly 21.85% to a 52-week high of $26.26. The Denver-based oil and natural gas company announced it will acquire all the subsidiaries of privately held Oak Valley Resources. Included in the deal are Oak Valley's producing assets, undeveloped acreage, and approximately $138 million in cash. The lot will be exchanged for about 9.1 million shares of ESTE.

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