Market Insider

Early movers: PX, DRI, BBRY, GIS, GM, FB, AAPL & more

Stocks to Watch: December 20, 2016

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Praxair — After weeks of talks, Praxair and rival industrial gas maker Linde have signed a non-binding term sheet for a merger of equals. Linde shareholders would get about a share and a half for each share they now hold, while Praxair holders would get one share.

Darden Restaurants — The parent of Olive Garden and other chains matched estimates with profit of 64 cents per share, while revenue was also in line with forecasts. Darden did post better-than-expected comparable-restaurant sales.

BlackBerry — The formerly dominant smartphone company — now largely a software provider — reported adjusted quarterly profit of 2 cents per share, compared to estimates of a 1 cent per share loss. Revenue was below Street forecasts, but BlackBerry did raise its full-year outlook.

General Mills — The foodmaker missed estimates by one cent a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of 85 cents per share. Revenue missed the mark, as well, on weaker sales of brands like Yoplait yogurt and Progresso soup.

General Motors — The automaker will temporarily shut down five plants in January for one to three weeks, as well as laying off nearly 1,300 workers at a Detroit assembly plant beginning in March. GM is trying to adjust to a slowdown in auto sales following seven years of growth.

Fiat Chrysler — U.S. officials are investigating about one million Fiat Chrysler pickup trucks and SUVs following reports of rollaway crashes that occurred after the vehicles were parked. NHTSA said it had reports of 25 related crashes and nine injuries allegedly related to the issue.

Facebook — European Union antitrust regulators are charging Facebook with providing misleading information about its takeover of WhatsApp. The objection involves Facebook's sharing of WhatsApp user data.

Biogen — Biogen named Executive Vice President Michel Vounatsos as its next chief executive officer, effective January 6. He'll replace George Scangos, who had led the drugmaker since 2010 and had previously announced he would step down as soon as a successor was found.

Apple — Apple has discussed setting up manufacturing facilities in India with the government, according to The Wall Street Journal. Making its products locally would allow Apple to open its own stores in India.

Philip Morris, Altria — These and other tobacco producers are on watch today after the California Public Employees' Retirement System voted to broaden its ban on tobacco investments. That move went against a staff recommendation that the 16-year old ban be removed.

Destination Maternity — Destination Maternity agreed to be bought by French child care clothing and products retailer Orchestra Prémaman in a stock swap deal worth $7.05 per share. Shareholders in the maternity apparel retailer will receive a little more than half of an Orchestra Prémaman share for each share they now hold.

Ericsson — Ericsson will reportedly cut about a quarter of its workforce in Italy, according to a Bloomberg report. That comes after the telecom company lost the contract to manage the country's largest wireless network.

Deutsche Bank — Deutsche Bank remains on our watch list amid reports that a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department will be announced this week, and that the penalty for the bank in a mortgage backed securities case will be far less than the $14 billion first proposed by U.S. officials.

Bank of America — The bank sold its U.K. credit card business MBNA to Lloyds Banking Group for $2.35 billion.

Square — Instinet began coverage on the mobile payments company with a "buy" rating, noting the growth of the overall market and Square's consistent gain in market share. — Drexel Hamilton initiated coverage on the company with a "buy" rating, noting that Salesforce continues to be a leader in customer relations management while expanding its cloud software offerings.

Alcoa — The aluminum producer was upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral" at Maquarie, citing expectations of improved demand and pricing.