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Early movers: HTZ, AMZN, MSFT, DSW, HPQ, GE & more

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Hertz Global – The car rental giant announced the spin-off its equipment rental business, following a report in the FT Monday that it would do so. Hertz will receive $2.5 billion in the transaction, and will use $1 billion of that for a new stock buyback program. Separately, the company reported fourth quarter profit of 26 cents per share, six cents below estimates, and also issued a full-year forecast that's below Street consensus.

McGraw-Hill Financial –The company will consider strategic alternatives for its McGraw-Hill Construction unit, and will target $100 million in cost savings over the next few years.

DSW–The show retailer reported fourth quarter profit of 31 cents per share, excluding certain items, two cents above estimates. Revenue, however, fell below forecasts. The company also raised its quarterly dividend to 18-3/4 cents per share from 12-1/2 cents.

FactSet–The financial data provider beat estimates by a penny with fiscal second quarter profit of $1.22 per share, excluding certain items. Revenue also came in above analyst forecasts.

Shutterfly–Cowen cut its rating on the online photo service to "underperform" from "outperform", saying a slowdown in growth and profit is due to increasing competition, pricing pressure, and poor performance in the mobile market.

Hewlett-PackardBarclays upgraded HP shares to "overweight" from "equalweight", saying HP could gain share over the next several quarters in x86 servers, and may also improve execution in technology services.

Cisco SystemsBarclays cut its rating on the company to "equalweight" from "overweight", citing uneven demand trends and secular headwinds for the networking equipment maker.

American Express (AXP) - The financial services giant announced a deal to sell half its business travel division to a newly created joint venture with a group led by New York investment firm Certares.

General Electric–GE faces two federal investigations into its credit card business. That news comes from an SEC filing as GE prepares to spin off that unit into a separate company, with regulators looking into whether the unit violated consumer finance laws.

Wal-Mart–The retailer plans to let consumers trade in used video games in return for Walmart gift cards. The games will then be refurbished and made available to shoppers.

Microsoft–The software giant may unveil a version of its Office software suite for the iPad, according to Reuters, when new CEO Satya Nadella holds his first public media event on March 27.

Sony–The company will announce layoffs in its Sony Pictures Entertainment division next week, according to Reuters. Sony would not confirm the story, only telling CNBC that it was "continuously evolving the business to make it more efficient and competitive".

Amazon.com–The online retailer will begin shipping a video-streaming device in early April, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company will make the device available on its website, as well as at retailers like Best Buy and Staples.

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.