Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
AT&T – Elliott Management revealed a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T and sent a letter to the company's board detailing a plan to improve AT&T's operations and stock price. Elliott said its plan could lead to a share value of $60 or more by the end of 2021.
Amazon.com – Amazon is holding an "Amazon Career Day" in six cities on September 17, in an effort to fill more than 30,000 jobs by early next year. The positions are all full time with benefits, and are unrelated to the usual yearly increase in holiday season hiring.
E*Trade – The online brokerage's stock was downgraded to "market perform" from "outperform" at Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, based on the firm's expectations for the federal funds rate and treasury yields.
Chipotle Mexican Grill – Wedbush upgraded the restaurant operator's stock to "outperform" from "neutral," and raised the price target by $200 to $980 per share. Wedbush thinks Chipotle is in position to establish a "digital moat" as the industry transitions to a larger mix of digital transactions.
Energizer Holdings – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch gave the shares a double upgrade, to "buy" from "underperform," saying negative factors that it had previously highlighted were in the rear view mirror and that major risks are now known.
Royal Caribbean – Royal Caribbean declared a quarterly dividend of 78 cents per share, an 11% increase from the prior payout. The cruise line operator said the move reflected the company's continuing efforts to increase shareholder returns. The stock is down almost 13% over the past 12 months although it has gained about 11% in 2019.
Eli Lilly – Lilly said its experimental lung cancer drug LOXO-292 shrank tumors in almost 70% of advanced lung cancer patients. The drug was acquired earlier this year when Lilly bought Loxo Oncology for $8 billion.
PG&E – The utility was offered $2.5 billion by the city of San Francisco for its electrical lines serving the city. PG&E is trying to work its way out of bankruptcy, as it faces billions in liabilities for its role in a series of deadly California wildfires.
Boeing – Boeing suspended load testing for its new 777X aircraft, saying its team "encountered an issue." Boeing did not specify the problem, but media reports said a cargo door failed a ground stress test. The load testing places stress on jets that are well above normal conditions.
HP Inc. – HP Inc. was downgraded to "market perform" from "outperform" at Bernstein, which said the computer and printer maker may face greater structural headwinds from the shift to digital communications.
Las Vegas Sands – The casino operator was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank, which said bearish sentiment regarding the Macau gaming market has created an attractive entry point for medium to longer term investors.