Early movers: TYC, DHI, HAL, KMB, CAT, TWTR, VRX, WFM & more

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Tyco — The fire protection and security products maker will merge with Johnson Controls, in a deal which will see Johnson Controls shareholders receive $3.9 billion in cash considerations and own 56 percent of the combined company. Following the merger, the company will be known as Johnson Controls PLC and headquartered in Tyco's current Ireland home.

DR Horton — The homebuilder reported quarterly profit of 42 cents per share, beating estimates by 1 cent, with revenue also above estimates. Sales orders were up 9 percent from a year earlier, with the value of those orders rising by 12 percent.

Halliburton — The oilfield services giant earned an adjusted 31 cents per share for its latest quarter, 7 cents above estimates. Revenue was slightly below forecasts, but the company was able to benefit from cost cuts amid falling oil prices.

Kimberly-Clark — The consumer products maker earned an adjusted $1.42 per share for its latest quarter, 1 cent below estimates, with revenue also slightly below forecasts. The company said its sales were hit by unfavorable foreign currency trends, but notes that organic sales did rise by 5 percent.

Caterpillar — Goldman Sachs downgraded the heavy equipment maker's stock to "sell" from "neutral," foreseeing lower returns on capital for a sustained period amid restrained global infrastructure spending and excess capacity.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals — The drugmaker released a memo sent by hospitalized CEO J. Michael Pearson, who said he looks forward to being back at work as soon as he is able.

Twitter — Twitter is losing four top executives in what is being characterized as "voluntary" departures. The departing employees include the heads of engineering, product development, and media, as well as the company's human resources vice president. Dow Jones is also reporting that Twitter will be bringing in two new board members, one of them a "high profile" media executive.

American Express — Oppenheimer upgraded the credit card issuer's stock to "perform" from "underperform," noting that negative news and reduced estimates are now reflected in the stock's price.

Whole Foods Market — BMO cut its rating on the organic grocer to "underperform" from "market perform," nothing that Whole Foods shares still have a "premium" valuation despite the risk of weaker comps and increasing competitive pressures.

Helen of Troy — The maker of beauty products and housewares received an unfavorable ruling in a patent infringement trial versus Exergen Corporation involving forehead thermometers. Exergen was awarded $14.6 million in damages, but Helen of Troy said the outcome of the case is not final and will be subject to several post-trial motions.

Home Depot — Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold," saying it believes the home improvement retailers have the best fundamentals in hardline retail and that comparable store sales should grow at a solid pace.

American Eagle — BB&T cut its rating on the apparel retailer's stock to "hold" from "buy," given a recent rally for the stock and a sales deceleration in December.

Alphabet — The Google parent struck a deal with the U.K. which will see it pay $185 million in back taxes. The deal has already sparked protests by some U.K. lawmakers, and a parliamentary committee will be asking company executives to testify about the agreement.

Viacom — Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone should be examined by a psychiatrist, according to a judge's ruling. Redstone's ex-girlfriend had questioned Redstone's mental competency, and the psychiatrist will conduct the examination within the next 10 days.

Apple — Apple executive Steve Zadesky will be leaving the company for personal reasons, according to The Wall Street Journal. Zadesky has been in charge of Apple's electric car project for the past two years and has been with Apple for 16 years.

Ford — The automaker will exit all its operations in Japan and Indonesia this year, because it sees "no reasonable path to profitability" in those countries.

SunEdison — SunEdison will be getting a new director from David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, according to The Wall Street Journal. That follows executive changes and a skidding stock price at the solar power company.

Morgan Stanley — CEO James Gorman's pay dropped by 7 percent to $21 million in 2015, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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