• BP (NYSE:BP) plans to pay Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) $7 billion for assets in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Azerbaijan

• United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) announced that its board authorized buying back up to 60 million shares of its common stock, worth $3.4 billion at current levels

• Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) removed Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) and Hershey (NYSE:HSY) from its Conviction Sell List

• Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) posted better-than-expected fiscal third quarter earnings of 22 cents, topping projections of 18 cents versus 9 cents a year ago, on revenues of $2.88 billion

• FBR maintained its “outperform” rating on Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), with a price target of $190, saying the firm remains as one of its Top Picks

• Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) downgraded Airgas (NYSE:ARG) to “hold” from “buy,” with a price target of $60

• UBS (NYSE:UBS) upgraded Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) to “buy” from “neutral,” with a price target of $42 up from $31

• Piper Jaffray (NYSE:PJC) maintained its “overweight” rating on eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) with a $35 price target

Zacks Investment Research