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Early movers: CVX, IPG, CRM, MDLZ, EBAY, HAL & more

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Chevron — Chevron's stock was upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" by JPMorgan Chase, saying pessimism over possible a possible dividend cut and execution risks are already priced into the stock.

Interpublic Group — FBR upgraded the ad agency's shares to "outperform" from "market perform," saying the stock's slump over the past few months is at odds with the company's performance.

Mattress Firm — The mattress retailer missed estimates by 5 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 67 cents per share, with revenue also missing forecasts. Mattress Firm said sales were soft in the second half of the quarter, although it noted that sales were still higher than the year before.

Salesforce.com, Oracle — BTIG started coverage on both stocks with "buy" ratings, saying we are in the "early innings" of a multiyear software growth cycle.

Mondelez International — Pershing Square's Bill Ackman—who has a stake in Mondelez—told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the snacks maker's stock can rise both on business fundamentals and on the prospects of a buyout, possibly by Kraft Heinz.

Restoration Hardware — The home furnishings retailer reported adjusted quarterly profit of 85 cents per share, 1 cent above estimates. Revenue was also above forecasts, and the company increased its full-year forecast as well though its current quarter outlook falls below Street estimates.

Zumiez — Zumiez missed estimates by 1 cent with quarterly profit of 11 cents per share, with revenue matching forecasts. The sports equipment retailer also gave disappointing guidance for the current quarter, pointing to higher promotions during back-to-school shopping.

Finisair — Finisair fell 3 cents short of estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 23 cents per share, while revenue also fell below forecasts. Additionally, the cloud services company announced that executive chairman Jerry Rawls will return to the CEO post, after Eitan Gertel resigned on September 3. The company's bottom line has suffered from shrinking profit margins, even as demand for its services increases.

Puma Biotechnology — The biotech firm is seeing its shares get a boost a news of positive results for an experimental breast cancer treatment.

Winnebago — Winnebago announced that Robert Olson is stepping down as interim chief executive officer. The recreational vehicle maker's chairman, Larry Erickson, will temporarily fill the CEO post if the position has not been filled by September 24.

Dow Chemical — A Dow-made insecticide saw its EPA approval disallowed by a U.S. appeals court, which ruled that regulators erred in allowing it on the market. Environmentalists had said that the insecticide resulted in a significant decline in bee colonies needed to pollinate key food crops. Separately, Bernstein began coverage on Dow with an "outperform" rating, saying it's bullish on petrochemicals.

AIG — AIG won a narrowing of several lawsuits against it related to the government's 2008 bailout of the insurer. The suits were brought by shareholders who did not participate in a previously approved $971 million class action settlement.

EBay — EBay is testing out a membership that features faster shipping. The new service—called eBay Plus—is being tested in Germany, with no word on whether it might be expanded beyond that market.

Halliburton — Halliburton must reportedly find a single buyer for $7.5 billion of assets, rather than selling them to different buyers, according to the New York Post. The Post said that ruling comes from the Justice Department and is a requirement for approval of its $35 billion buyout of oilfield services rival Baker Hughes.

Blackstone — Blackstone is part of a group planning to bid for NCR, according to a report in the New York Post.

General Electric — GE agreed to sell GE Capital's transportation finance unit to BMO Financial for an undisclosed price.