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Early movers: MON, F, M, HLF, FB, TWTR, RT, VZ, ED, COH, APD & more

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Monsanto — Germany's Bayer is buying the U.S. seeds maker for $128 per share or $66 billion in cash. Bayer said it expects the deal to close by the end of 2017.

Ford — The automaker unveiled a new growth plan which it said would improve underperforming operations and invest in new opportunities. It expects overall financial performance to decline in 2017 as a result, but rebound in 2018.

Macy's — Macy's was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Citi, which said the retailer has an attractive free cash flow and dividend yield, and is making the right moves in a difficult retail environment.

Herbalife — Investor Carl Icahn said at the CNBC/Institutional Investor 2016 Delivering Alpha conference that he has asked for the right to buy up to a 50 percent stake in the nutritional products company, although he has no intention of making that purchase right now. Icahn also said he thought Herbalife would be better off as a private company.

Facebook, Twitter — The two have joined more than 30 other companies in a joint effort to keep fake news from spreading over social media. The First Draft Coalition was formed last year with the backing of Alphabet's Google unit.

Ruby Tuesday — Ruby Tuesday said its Chief Executive Officer James Buettgen has resigned, after the board called for his removal because of the restaurant chains' poor performance. Buettgen had joined the company more than three years ago from rival Darden Restaurants. Former Boston Market CEO and current Ruby Tuesday board member Lane Cardwell will serve as interim CEO until a successor is found.

Verizon — Verizon was notified by New York City officials that it was in default of an agreement involving the buildout of its Fios high speed internet and TV service. The city said Verizon did not fulfill the goals outlined in a 2008 agreement. Verizon has 30 days to respond to the notice.

Con Edison — Con Edison was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Jefferies, which cited valuation for the move involving the New York City-based utility's shares.

Coach — Coach was cut to "underweight" from "equal-weight" at Morgan Stanley, which questions whether a sustainable turnaround is occurring at the handbag maker.

Air Products & Chemicals — Pershing Square's Bill Ackman sold 3.6 million shares of Air Products, bringing his holdings down to 16.9 million shares or 7.8 percent of the industrial gas company.


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