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

J.C. Penney – The retailer issued a statement saying it's still in the early stages of a turnaround, but is seeing improving sales trends, and that its year-end liquidity is now expected to be an excess of $2 billion.

Nuance Communications — Activist investor and billionaire Carl Icahn tweeted that he had reached an agreement with the company to seat two of his choices--one being his son Brett--to Nuance's board of directors.

Procter & Gamble – Wells Fargo upgraded the consumer products giant to "outperform" from "market perform", based on productivity momentum, improving market share, and the return of A.G. Lafley as CEO.

Tenet Healthcare – Goldman Sachs upgraded Tenet's stock to "buy" from "neutral", citing stronger admissions as well as outpatient revenue growth.

Xerox – Xerox EVP Lynn Blodgett has received a Wells Notice relating to Affiliated Computer Services, which was acquired by Xerox in early 2010. The SEC has been looking into certain accounting practices by ACS, with Xerox's cooperation. SEC staff is not recommending any charges against the company as a whole.

Talisman Energy - Investor Carl Icahn took a nearly 6 percent stake in the Canadian oil and gas company. Icahn said on Twitter that he may have conversations with management about strategic alternatives and board seats.

Alcatel-Lucent – Alcatel will cut 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2015, with the telecommunications equipment maker aiming to save about $1.4 billion per year. – Amazon received a favorable court ruling in a dispute with IBM (IBM) over a cloud computing services contract awarded to Amazon by the CIA. IBM said it would appeal the latest ruling, which upheld Amazon's contention that IBM should not be given another chance to bid for the contract.

Jamba – The smoothie drink operator is warning of a 3.4 percent drop in current quarter same-store sales, adding that estimated full year comp store sales to be flat to one percent higher. In 2012, Jamba had seen a 5.1 percent rise in same-store sales. CEO James White said he expected a challenging operating environment for the foreseeable future.

Tower Group – Toward said it expects to increase its loss reserves by $365 million, significantly higher than the insurance company had previously indicated. It is also taking a second quarter goodwill impairment charge of $215 million for the second quarter, and is reviewing a range of strategic options.

McKesson —McKesson is advanced talks to buy German drug distributor Celesio for more than $5 billion, according to Dow Jones. The report said a bid could be announced sometime this month.

Krispy Kreme – The doughnut chain will sell its branded packaged ground coffee at certain Sam's Club locations. The coffee is currently sold primarily in Krispy Kreme's doughnut shops.

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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