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

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

General Dynamics—RBC downgraded the defense contractor's stock to "sector perform" from "outperform," saying the company may find it challenging to replicate a 2014 performance in which nearly everything went right.

American ExpressThe stock was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs, because of multiple benefits of an improving macroeconomic outlook.

Cigna, UnitedHealth GroupGoldman cut UnitedHealth to "neutral" while raising Cigna to "buy". The firm said UnitedHealth has more limited upside after outperformance in 2015, while Cigna has less underwriting risk than its managed care peers.

Eli LillyThe drug maker announced 2015 financial guidance that falls slightly short of current Street estimates. CEO John Lechleiter did say, however, that the company is successfully moving out of a challenging period of patent expirations into a resumption of growth.

SiriusXMThe satellite radio service said it exceeded its 2014 subscriber and financial targets, and issued 2015 projections as well. Its projected yearly revenue of $4.4 billion is slightly below consensus estimates of $4.495 billion.

Micron TechnologyMicron reported adjusted quarterly profit of 97 cents per share, five cents above estimates, with revenue slightly below forecasts. More significantly, the maker of memory chips forecast current quarter revenue below Street estimates. Micron has been upgrading its production facilities and that upgrade has slowed output.

J.C. PenneyThe retailer reported a 3.7 percent rise in same-store sales for the holiday season, and also gave a current quarter sales projection at the upper end of its previously projected range.

SonySony said its controversial movie "The Interview" had brought in $31 million in purchases and rentals online and through cable, satellite, and telecom providers.

Keurig Green MountainThe company has signed an agreement with Dr Pepper Snapple to sell soda pods in its planned cold-drink machine.

Campbell Soup, PepsiCoThese and other food and beverage companies could be on watch, following a Journal report that investment firm 3G Capital is looking for new acquisition targets and is considering the possibility of buying a food or beverage company.

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