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Early movers: MRK, WAG, AMZN, JCP, BWLD, WFC & more

Tuesday, 1 Oct 2013 | 7:50 AM ET

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

Walgreens – The drug store chain reported quarterly profit of 73 cents per share, excluding certain items, one cent above estimates. Walgreens also announced a 4.6 percent increase in same-store sales.

Merck – The drug maker announced a cost-saving initiative which will see it cut 8,500 positions. It hopes to cut annual operating expenses by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015.

J.C. Penney – Hedge fund Perry Corp. has cut its stake in the retailer only a month after it had increased its holdings. Perry had held 8.6 percent of JCP after the most recent purchase, with its sale scaling that back to 4.5 percent. If a planned secondary offering by the retailer is consummated, Perry's share would drop to 3.3 percent.

Buffalo Wild Wings– Raymond James downgraded the restaurant chain's shares to "outperform" from "strong buy", due to what it sees a poor demand environment for the restaurant industry in general.

Paychex —The payroll services provider reported fiscal first quarter profit of 44 cents per share, one cent above estimates.

Cisco Systems — CEO John Chambers will see his pay rise 80 percent to $21 million for 2013, according to an SEC filing.

Wells Fargo – The bank has agreed to an $869 million settlement with Freddie Mac over claims related to mortgages that it sold to the mortgage financing provider. The agreement includes a $780 million cash payment.

Walt Disney, DISH Network – The two sides agreed to a short term extension of their current carriage agreement, in hopes of working out a longer term deal.

Google – Google may be closer to settling its European Union antitrust case, with the EU's top competition regulator saying Google's latest offer to modify its search engine puts the case on track for a successful conclusion.

Amazon.com – The online retailer plans to hire 70,000 full time workers for the holiday season, up from last year's total of 50,000 workers.

JPMorgan Chase – A JPM insider has provided a large amount of information to the Justice Department's probe of mortgage securities sales at the bank, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report did not say who the insider was, or whether that insider is still employed at the bank.

Berkshire Hathaway – Berkshire will convert financial crisis-era warrants into shares of Goldman Sachs today. Under terms of the deal amended earlier this year, Berkshire will get about 13.1 million Goldman shares.

Wal-Mart – Wal-Mart is opening two new distribution centers that will fulfill online orders. One of the centers is in Fort Worth, Texas, the other in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Diamond Foods – The company reported fourth quarter profit of nine cents per share, excluding certain items, compared to forecasts for a breakeven quarter. However, it expects to face significant sales headwinds in the current quarter because of a smaller walnut supply and the relaunch of its Emerald brand.

Under Armour – JPMorgan Chase upgraded the athletic apparel maker's shares to "neutral" from "underweight", pointing to the increasing amount of department store space devoted to active wear.

H&R Block – Morgan Stanley upgraded the tax preparer's stock to "overweight" from "equalweight". The firm said the Affordable Care Act may have a positive influence on H&R Block's business.

Deckers Outdoor – Canaccord Genuity upgraded the maker of Ugg boots to "buy" from "hold".


—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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

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Featured

  • 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.

  • Sharon Epperson is CNBC's senior commodities and 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.

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