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Early movers: GE, ONCE, POT, TSLA, VIP, LMT, FDX, AZO & more

Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

General Electric—Activist hedge fund Trian has taken a $2.5 billion stake in GE, the largest in the fund's history. GE said it welcomes Trian's involvement, while Trian said GE is in the midst of a bold transformation that should enhance shareholder value.

Spark Therapeutics—The drug maker's experimental eye disorder drug met its goals in a late stage study. The treatment is designed to improve vision in patients who had been at risk for blindness.

FireEye—Piper Jaffray downgraded the cyber security company's shares to "neutral" from "overweight," citing increasing competition and other factors.

Tesla—The electric carmaker reported deliveries of 11,580 vehicles during the third quarter, 49 percent more than a year earlier. That gives Tesla sales of just over 33,000 vehicles for the first nine months of the year, meaning that it could need a major push to reach its goal of 50,000 to 55,000 vehicle sales for 2015.

Vimpelcom—Norway's Telenor wants to sell its 33 percent stake in the Russian telecom company, with that Vimpelcom facing a bribery investigation by regulators in the U.S. and in the Netherlands.

Applied Materials—RBC downgraded the semiconductor equipment maker's stock to "underperform" from "sector perform," pointing to an overall drop in capital spending in the industry as well as what it considers an overly optimistic outlook by the company.

Toll Brothers—The luxury home builder was upgraded to "positive" from "neutral" at Susquehanna, saying current valuation and estimates don't accurately reflect Toll's potential 2016 results.

Twitter—Axiom upgraded Twitter to "buy" from "hold," pointing to optimism over the hiring of a permanent CEO and solidification of future strategy.

AutoZone—Oppenheimer upgraded AutoZone to "outperform" from "perform," saying the auto parts seller is among the best-run and most disciplined retailers.

Potash—Potash has pulled its $8.9 billion offer for German rival K+S, after its rival potash producer resisted the offer and amid the overall commodity and equity market decline since the offer was first made in May.

Ford—The automaker and the United Auto Workers union reached an agreement that will avert a walkout at the Kansas City, Missouri factory that builds Ford's F-150 pickup trucks.

Lockheed Martin—The defense contractor is looking into merging some of its information technology and services businesses with those of an unnamed rival, according to a Reuters report. Those businesses have a value of about $4 billion.

St. Jude Medical—The medical products maker received an FDA warning letter regarding the manufacture of some devices at its Atlanta plant.

FedEx—TNT Express chairman Antony Burgmans expects European approval for FedEx's deal to buy TNT. He told Bloomberg that he expects the deal to be completed in the first half of next year.

Walt Disney—Disney is considering implementing variable pricing at its theme parks, according to a report in today's Wall Street Journal.

Exelon—Exelon has reportedly reached a tentative agreement with Washington, DC mayor Muriel Bowser on its bid to buy rival utility Pepco Holdings, according to a Bloomberg report.

Deere—The heavy equipment maker said members of the United Auto Workers Union approved a new six-year labor agreement that covers workers in three states.


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