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Early movers: DIS, AAPL, ERIC, TIF, BXLT, JOY, MTU, SYT, GE & more

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

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Walt Disney — The latest "Star Wars" movie smashed box office records over the weekend. That could help Disney bounce back from a Friday rout inspired in part by a BTIG downgrade.

Apple, Ericsson — The two companies have settled patent litigation by signing a licensing agreement, after suing each other over mobile technology patents.

Microsoft — An article in Barron's suggests that the stock could rise 30 percent over the next 18 months thanks to the boost provided by its cloud-computing business.

Tiffany — Jefferies upgraded the luxury goods retailer to "buy" from "hold," calling it a rare opportunity to get a high quality company at a discount.

Baxalta — The drug maker will get a higher takeover bid from Britain's Shire, according to the Sunday Times. The paper said Shire would add 8 billion pounds ($11.9 billion) in cash to the bid, sweetening an all-stock offer in August that at the time was worth more than $30 billion. Separately, Baxalta and partner Momenta said a proposed copy of AbbVie's best-selling immunosuppressant Humira met a primary endpoint in a study.

Joy Global — The mining company's stock was upgraded to "market perform" from "underperform" at FBR, noting the company's strategy moves to cut costs and deal with the ongoing commodity price slump.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group — The Japanese firm has been told by U.S. regulators to improve governance of its American operations, according to sources quoted by Reuters.

Syngenta — Syngenta now has a $44 billion takeover over from ChemChina, according to Bloomberg. That bid is $2 billion higher than a prior offer for the agricultural chemicals firm, but still below the $47 billion bid from Monsanto that Syngenta rejected earlier this year.

General Electric — GE said it expected to announce a decision in January on whether it would move its headquarters out of Fairfield, Connecticut. It's been considering such a move due to recently-passed tax increases by state lawmakers.

BHP Billiton — BHP's Brazilian assets have been frozen by a judge, along with those of its partner, state-owned mining company Vale. That follows a determination by a judge that their joint venture could not pay for damage caused by a dam burst last month.

Comcast — Comcast is considering a bid for British commercial broadcaster ITV, according to London's Daily Mail. The paper said the NBCUniversal parent could bid as much as $16 billion and that talks between the two parties are believed to have taken place. (Disclosure: NBCUniversal is parent of CNBC.)

Live Nation Entertainment — The entertainment company may be interested in rescuing financially strapped music festival promoter SFX Entertainment, according to Reuters. SFX bondholders want that to happen, according to the report, but Live Nation is said to be moving slowly in considering such a deal.

U.S. Steel — The steelmaker reached a tentative contract agreement with the United Steelworkers union covering about 18,000 workers at more than a dozen locations across the U.S.

Questions? Comments? Email us at marketinsider@cnbc.com