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

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Darden Restaurants–The restaurant chain reported fiscal first quarter profit of 32 cents per share, one cent above estimates, with revenue also above forecasts. The company said it is pleased with improvements seen recently but that it still has more work to do. Separately, Darden is under more pressure from activist investor Starboard Value, which submitted 300 slides detailing ways to improve the Olive Garden parent's operations.

Netflix–Barclays upgraded Netflix to "equal-weight" from "underweight", saying the stock's gains have been smaller than its peer group, and that risks involving Netflix are now more balanced.

JPMorgan Chase–In an SEC filing, the bank said it has not seen any unusual customer fraud activity following a recent cyber attack.

Newmont Mining–The mining company is selling its 44 percent stake in a Mexican joint venture to partner Fresnillo for $450 million in cash.

Hertz Global —The car rental company struck an agreement with activist investor Carl Icahn that allows Icahn to choose three directors for the Hertz board.

Conversant–Conversant will be acquired by marketing company Alliance Data Systems for $2.3 billion in cash and stock, or $35 per share. Conversant specializes in digital marketing, and Alliance expects the transaction to immediately add substantially to its earnings.

Ulta Salon– The beauty products retailer beat estimates by 11 cents with second quarter profit of 94 cents per share, with revenue also above estimates. Ulta also raised its full-year guidance.

AT&T–The company's proposed deal to buy DirecTV is being examined by a number of state attorneys general for possible anti-competitive issues, according to Reuters. The probe is an expansion of efforts by the same group that has been examining Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Tesla–The automaker will receive $1.3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives from Nevada to locate a battery factory in the state, following the passage of an agreement by state lawmakers and the signing of that agreement by Governor Brian Sandoval.

Yahoo–Yahoo was sued by two Mexican companies, accused of conspiring with law firm Baker & McKenzie to avoid a $2.7 billion judgment issued by a court in Mexico two years ago. Yahoo had been sued in 2011 for allegedly terminating an online search project with those two companies prematurely.

EBay–The online auction giant will launch ads within its mobile app within the next few months, as the company tries to take advantage of heavy use of that app by eBay buyers and sellers.

Crocs–The shoe maker has been accused of monopolistic behavior in a lawsuit filed by a small Nevada-based shoe company. USA Dawgs claimed Crocs routinely sues smaller competitors and puts them out of business.


By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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