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Early movers: MON, TPUB, SLB, BIG, AFL, FCX, LC, BA, VRX & more

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Monsanto — German drug maker Bayer bid $122 per share in cash for the seeds and chemicals maker. The deal is worth a total of $62 billion, including assumed debt, and a more than 20 percent premium over Friday's close.

Tribune Publishing — Tribune rejected Gannett's latest takeover offer of $15 per share, but offered a mutual non-disclosure agreement to provide a possible path forward. At the same time, Tribune sold 4.7 million shares to Nant Capital at the same-per share price as Gannett's offer.

Schlumberger — Goldman Sachs added the oilfield services company's shares to its "Conviction Buy" list, saying it sees Schlumberger as best-positioned in the current oil market and foreseeing a 29 percent upside in the stock over the next 12 months.

Big Lots — Deutsche Bank downgraded the discount retailer to "hold" from "buy" in a research report that was generally cautious about the dollar store segment. The firm sees headwinds from new overtime payment rules as well as increasing competitive pressures stemming from Wal-Mart's success.

Aflac — KBW downgraded the insurer's stock to "market perform" from "outperform," following a 14 percent year-to-date run-up and outperformance relative to its peer group. KBW said the current valuation balances Aflac's positive attributes against a challenging growth outlook and other possibly negative factors.

Freeport-McMoRan — Freeport has withdrawn its plans for an initial public offering of its oil and gas business. The unit first filed for the IPO in June 2015, but a 24 percent drop in oil prices since then has severely cut valuations for oil producers. The company's filing, however, did not specify the reason for the withdrawal.

LendingClub — LendingClub has hired Jefferies to help it find investors for loan funding, according to Reuters. After a scandal that led to the departure of the online lender's chief executive officer, some of the company's largest investors halted purchases of its loans.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals — Valeant Senior Vice President Brian Stolz resigned from the drugmaker to pursue other opportunities. Stolz had served as senior VP of neurology, dentistry, and genetics.

Boeing — Boeing won an $11.3 billion jet order from Vietnam's VietJet, in a deal signed during President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam. Separately, a Barron's article said Boeing shares could fall as much as 15 percent if aircraft sales fall, with airlines keeping older planes longer and delaying new jet orders.

Viacom — CEO Philippe Dauman and board member George Abrams have been removed from the trust that will eventually determine the fate of both Viacom and CBS by media mogul Sumner Redstone. Reuters reports that Redstone will name National Amusements general counsel Tad Jankowski to the trust.

First Data — First Data shares could rise by as much as 70 percent, according to a Barron's article, if the payments processor's performance continues to improve. First Data shares have fallen 20 percent since its IPO last year.

Anthem, Cigna — The two companies are privately bickering over details of their planned $48 billion merger, according to The Wall Street Journal. That comes even as the two health insurers work to obtain regulatory approval for their deal.

CF Industries — CF has terminated its proposed combination with the distribution businesses of Europe's OCI. The agricultural products maker said the Treasury's recent rule change aimed at tax-saving inversions have "materially reduced" the synergies of the deal.

Staples — The office suppliers retailer has contacted a handful of buyout firms to shop its European assets, according to London's Sunday Times. That follows the end of its planned buyout of Office Depot.


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