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Early Movers: ANF, TJX, TGT, LYV, SNE, AAPL & more

A trader works the floor of the NYSE.
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Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Abercrombie & Fitch—The teen retailer beat estimates by 1 cent with adjusted quarterly profit of 42 cents per share, but revenue was below forecasts and same-store sales tumbled 10 percent. CEO Mike Jefferies said sales are improving but conditions remain "difficult."

TJXGoldman Sachs added the retailer to its "conviction" buy list, saying the company's soft third quarter was likely an aberration, and that TJX has an underappreciated international presence. At the same time, Goldman downgraded J.C. Penney to "sell" from "neutral," saying competitive changes in the industry may prevent the company from achieving its multi-year financial goals.

Illumina and Sequenom—The two have resolved patent disputes involving non-invasive prenatal testing, and will pool their intellectual property in that segment.

Target—A judge rejected the retailer's attempt to dismiss a lawsuit by banks related to last year's data breach.

Ascena Retail—The retailer reported adjusted quarterly profit of 28 cents per share, 2 cents above estimates, with revenue matching forecasts. Ascena did see net sales decline at its Justice and Lane Bryant chains, but sales were higher at Dress Barn and other Ascena brands.

Live Nation—The live entertainment producer appointed Beats Electronics co-founder and music producer Jimmy Iovine to its board of directors.

IBM—The technology giant signed a $1.25 billion cloud services deal with WPP Group, its third such contract in the past month, and said more such deals are on the way.

Sony—The company is still struggling to fully restore its computer systems eight days after a hacking attack, according to a Reuters report.

Apple—The company returns to court for the second day in Oakland, California, defending itself against charges of abusing a monopoly position in the digital music player market. Separately, Apple has been issued a patent for a design that prevents an iPhone from breaking when dropped.

CME Group—The futures company has upped its offer for broker-dealer GFI Group to $5.25 per share in cash and stock from the prior $4.55, as it faces off against a rival bid from BGC Partners.

Bob Evans Farms—The restaurant chain earned an adjusted 36 cents per share for its second quarter, 2 cents above estimates. The company's revenue was shy of estimates, and it cut the top end of its full-year earnings forecast, but Bob Evans did manage to end a five-quarter streak of declining sales. KeyBanc downgraded the stock to "underweight" from "hold," saying the company is not addressing a decline in dine-in customers.

Microchip Technology—The semiconductor company increased its financial guidance for the current quarter, saying bookings and billings have improved since it issued its last earnings report on October 30.

By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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