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Early Movers: Insurers, NDAQ, AAPL & More

Tuesday, 2 Apr 2013 | 8:01 AM ET

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell on Tuesday:

Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Cigna - The Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services will increase fee payment rates by 3.3 percent in 2014. That's a reversal of the 2.3 percent drop projected last month, and followed intense lobbying from the health insurance industry.

Nasdaq OMX Group - Nasdaq will buy the eSpeed trading platform for U.S. Treasurys from BGC Partners for $750 million. Nasdaq has been trying to expand into non-stock asset classes because of falling stock trading volumes.

Apple - Goldman Sachs has removed Apple from its "Conviction Buy" list, although it still rates the stock a "buy." It said the most recent product cycle hasn't provided the boost for Apple that it had expected.

(Read More: See the Day's Top Percentage Winners & Losers)

Hewlett-Packard - Goldman Sachs has cut its rating on HP to "sell" from "neutral," saying sentiment about the company has moved ahead of reality. Goldman said positives from restructuring will be offset by weakness in PCs, enterprise hardware, services, and printing.

McCormick & Co. - The spice maker reported quarterly profit of $0.57 per share, one cent above estimates, with revenue also beating consensus. It said that while demand has been weak in some of its markets, it expects to see a recovery in coming quarters.

Dell - Employees received a letter from CEO Michael Dell Monday, saying the computer maker's best days are still ahead, although he said there's a lot of new work that needs to be done. The letter detailed the company's strategic plans in conjunction with Michael Dell's proposal to take the company private.

Goldman Sachs - Bank of America/Merrill Lynch has downgraded Goldman shares to "neutral" from "buy" on a valuation basis.

Nuance Communications - Nuance is one of the newest holdings for investor Carl Icahn, who has disclosed a 9.27 percent passive stake in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Nuance is a maker of speech conversion software.

Citigroup - Citi's $590 million settlement with shareholders is being questioned by a Manhattan federal judge, who has asked the lawyers in the case to address several issues at a hearing next week. The suit had accused the bank of hiding billions in toxic mortgage assets.

AstraZeneca - The drug maker is considering its next legal steps, after a U.S. court ruled that a patent protecting the drug maker's Pulmicort asthma treatment is invalid. The ruling cleared the way for a generic version from Actavis.

Shoe Carnival - Shoe Carnival reported fourth-quarter profit in line with Street estimates, but its revenue was short of predictions and its current-quarter outlook was considerably below Street estimates. The footwear retailer said its spring selling season has gotten off to a slow start.

Texas Instruments - Stifel Nicolaus has downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy," citing a near-term slowdown in orders for the chipmaker.

Qualcomm - Raymond James has upgraded the stock to "strong buy" from "outperform."

Exxon Mobil - Oppenheimer has downgraded the stock to "perform" from "outperform."


(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

Questions? Comments? Email us at marketinsider@cnbc.com


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  • Patti Domm

    Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.

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