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Early movers: DG, AAPL, LNKD, JCP, VZ & more

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

Dollar General - The discount retailer reported second quarter profit of 77 cents per share, excluding certain items, three cents above estimates. Meanwhile, revenue also checked in above consensus. Comparable store sales rose 5.1 percent during the quarter, as the company sold more groceries and stocked more brand-name products.

Navistar - The heavy equipment maker reported a fiscal third quarter loss of $2.94 per share, wider than the $1.30 per share loss that analysts had predicted. Revenue also fell short, amid weaker truck industry conditions.

Ciena - The producer of telecom equipment earned 23 cents per share for its third quarter, excluding certain items, seven cents above estimates. The company's revenue was also above consensus. Analysts say Ciena is still a favorite among the major carriers.

Verizon- Baird upgraded Verizon shares to "buy" from "neutral", based on the earnings boost expected from Verizon's acquisition of Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless.

LinkedIn - The business networking web site plans a $1 billion secondary stock offering, and will use the proceeds for product development and for potential acquisitions.

H&R Block - The company lost 40 cents per share for its first quarter, wider than the 37 cent loss predicted by analysts. Revenue was well above estimates, but investors are more focused on an increase in expenses for the nation's biggest tax preparation company.

Hain Celestial - Hain still has Carl Icahn as a shareholder, but Icahn has cut his stake by about half, to 7.5 percent of the maker of tea, baby food, and other organic products.

News Corp. -The owner of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News sold its Dow Jones Local Media Group division to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group. The unit operates 33 community newspapers, mostly on the East Coast.

J.C. Penney - Glenview Capital has raised its stake in the retailer to 9.1 percent from 3.8 percent, with the news coming several hours after Hayman Capital raised its own holdings in J.C. Penney.

Apple - The iPhone maker is reportedly planning to hold a separate media event in China September 11, just hours after a U.S. event at which it's expected to unveil the latest iPhone and iPad models. The report is fueling speculation that it may finally announce a long awaited deal with China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile phone operator, which does not currently offer Apple phones.

Bank of America - Bank of America completed its $1.5 billion sale of its stake in China Construction Bank, ending its investment in China's second largest lender.

JPMorgan Chase - The bank will pay $18.3 million to settle a lawsuit charging inadequate disclosure about certain mortgage investments.

MetLife, Prudential Financial - Barclays upgraded both insurance stocks to "overweight" from "equal weight", as part of a general upgrade of the life insurance sector. The firm said the two firms are among the best positioned to benefit in a higher interest rate environment.

(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 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.