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Early movers: NDAQ, FL, P, GES, ARO, GS & more

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

Nasdaq OMX — The stock will be watched closely again today after falling Thursday in the wake of the Nasdaq's three hour trading outage, although it did recover from its lowest levels of the session.

Foot Locker —The sporting goods retailer reported quarterly profit of 46 cents per share, excluding certain items, one cent shy of estimates. Same store sales rose a weaker than expected 1.8 percent, although the company remains confident of a mid-single digit rise for the year and a double-digit increase for earnings.

VMWare —Jefferies upgraded the cloud software producer's stock to "buy" from "hold", citing increasing confidence in revenue acceleration and better than expected license growth.

Guess — Piper Jaffray lowered its rating on the apparel seller to "neutral", based on a recent "barrage" of lackluster reports from specialty retailers. Piper Jaffray had cut second half estimates for Guess earlier this month.

Pandora— Pandora reported second quarter profit of four cents per share, doubling Street estimates, with revenue also above consensus. However, the internet radio service's current quarter outlook falls short of analyst estimates, as expenses to buy music rights and expand its sales personnel rise.

Gap —Gap earned 64 cents per share for the second quarter, matching estimates, while raising its full year outlook and increasing its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share from 15 cents. The retailer's results are being driven by rising sales at its Gap and Old Navy chains.

Aeropostale — Aeropostale lost 34 cents per share for the second quarter, wider than the 24 cent loss forecast by analysts and joining a clutch of retailers that have disappointed the market. The apparel retailer also sees a current quarter loss, and is upping its estimate of how many stores it will close this year.

Goldman Sachs , JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo — Moody's put credit ratings of the four big U.S. banks on review for possible downgrade. Moody's pointed to the reduced chances of government help if another crisis hits.

Hewlett-Packard — Following Thursday's tumble on HP's quarterly earnings report, the stock remains under scrutiny with a Wall Street Journal "Heard On The Street" column calling for the removal of CEO Meg Whitman.

Brown-Forman — Brown-Forman will build a new distillery at its Tennessee factory, as demand for its Jack Daniel's whiskey grows. It's the first all-new distillery that the company has built since Prohibition.

U.S. Airways, AMR — The airlines want a November 12 trial to fight a Justice Department challenge to their planned merger. That would provide DOJ with 90 days of preparation, compared to the government's request for 180 days.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts — KKR is among private equity firms expected to bid for Panasonic's health care business, according to Reuters, in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.5 billion. Bain Capital is also said to be a participant as part of a consortium.

Autodesk —Autodesk earned 45 cents per share for the second quarter, three cents above estimates, but investors are concentrating on the software maker's current quarter forecast. Autodesk sees both earnings per share and revenue well below Street estimates, as demand falls for its computer-aided design software used in construction, manufacturing, and engineering.

Dendreon —Deutsche Bank cut its rating on the drug maker's stock to "sell" from "hold", citing concerns about debt due in 2016 and the effects refinancing may have on equity holders.

Simon Property — BMO raised its rating on the mall operator's stock to "outperform" from "market perform", noting that the stock has fallen more than its peers and calling its relative valuation "compelling".

Dick's Sporting Goods —The sporting goods retailer's shares were cut to "perform" from "outperform" at Oppenheimer, saying recent sales weakness is likely to persist and that Dick's has some "acute product issues" to solve.

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

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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

  • Patti Domm

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

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • CNBC's Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

  • JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

  • Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.

  • Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.