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Early movers: COST, SHLD, LE, PANW, GRUB, MDT, DG, MIK, AEO & more

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

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Costco — The warehouse retailer reported flat same-store sales for both its fiscal first quarter and for November, but both those numbers were better than consensus forecasts for declines. Analysts had expected a 0.2 percent drop for the quarter and a 0.9 percent fall for the quarter. Separately, Deutsche Bank has upgraded Costco to "buy" from "hold," saying there were too many positive catalysts to ignore.

Sears Holdings — Sears reported an adjusted quarterly loss of $2.86 per share, roughly in line with the $2.84 estimate from the one analyst providing Thomson Reuters with forecasts. Revenue was slightly above that forecast, but sales at both the Sears and Kmart chains continue to fall.

Lands' End — The apparel retailer earned 33 cents per share for its latest quarter, missing estimates by 2 cents, while revenue was also below forecasts. CEO Federica Marchionni said results did not meet the company's expectations due to a challenging retail environment and unseasonably warm weather, but added that the company is well-positioned for the future.

Palo Alto Networks — The cybersecurity firm was named as a "top pick" at FBR, citing fast growth and surging profit margins and free cash flow.

GrubHub — The online food delivery service earned a "buy" rating in new coverage at Mizuho, which said GrubHub's coverage gives it tremendous scale and "deep moats" for competitors.

Medtronic — The medical device maker earned an adjusted $1.03 per share for its latest quarter, 3 cents above estimates, with revenue essentially in line. Medtronic did note the negative impact of a stronger dollar in its results, and said that would continue for fiscal 2016.

Dollar General — The discount retailer reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 88 cents per share, 1 cent above estimates, though revenue was slightly short. Same-store sales rose 2.3 percent, shy of the 2.8 percent consensus estimate provided by Thomson Reuters.

Michaels Cos. — The arts and crafts retailer reported quarterly profit of 37 cents per share, 1 cent above estimates, with revenue roughly in line. Same-store sales were up 1.5 percent in what the company calls a "choppy" retail environment.

American Eagle — The teen apparel retailer reported quarterly profit of 35 cents per share, 1 cent above estimates. That came although revenue fell below forecasts, but the company said the holiday season is off to a "solid start." Separately, interim CEO Jay Schottenstein was named permanent chief executive officer after holding the interim position since January 2014.

PVH — PVH earned an adjusted $2.66 per share for its latest quarter, 19 cents above estimates, while the apparel maker's revenue was in line. PVH did note a negative impact from a strong dollar but reaffirmed its full-year forecast.

Avago Technologies — Avago beat estimates by 13 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of $2.51 per share, with revenue matching analyst forecast. The chip maker saw a 38 percent jump in sales for its enterprise storage business, while wireless communications-related revenue was higher by 8 percent.

Yahoo — Yahoo's board will continue to examine the company's future at a board meeting today. CNBC reports that no decision has yet been reached on a possible spin-off of the company's stake in Alibaba. Separately, The Wall Street Journal reports that several potential suitors are emerging for Yahoo's internet business, including Verizon and IAC/InterActive Corp.

Banking companies - Standard & Poor's cut credit ratings on eight major banks, reflecting a lower possibility of "extraordinary support" from the government in case of excessive stress. The companies are: Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo.

Alphabet — Alphabet's YouTube unit is seeking streaming rights to TV series and movies in a bid to compete with Netflix, Amazon.com, and Hulu, according to The Wall Street Journal.

McDonald's — The restaurant operator will be the fourth U.S. company whose tax deals are coming under scrutiny by European Regulators, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Lockheed Martin — The defense contractor is delaying a decision to spin off its government information technology business until early in 2016. But the company is still expected to go ahead with the move.

Box — Box matched estimates with an adjusted quarterly loss of 31 cents per share, with revenue beating estimates as the cloud services company did see its business grow at a fast pace. The loss comes as Box boosts its spending and marketing and research.

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