Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) – IFF will be combined with DuPont's (DD) nutrition business, under a deal struck over the weekend. DuPont shareholders will own 55.4% of the combined company, with IFF's shareholders owning the rest. DuPont will also receive a $7.3 billion cash payment.
Amarin (AMRN) – Amarin received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Vascepa drug, designed to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes in high-risk patients. Amarin boosted its 2020 financial outlook following news of the approval.
Horizon Therapeutics (HZNP) – Horizon said an FDA advisory committee voted to recommend approval of a new treatment for thyroid eye disease. The full FDA is expected to issue a decision on the drug by March, according to the company.
Boeing (BA) – Boeing is mulling whether to halt or cut production of its grounded 737 Max jet, according to multiple reports. Boeing issued a statement in response to the story, saying it would continue to assess production decisions based on the timing and conditions of a return to service for the 737 Max.
Walt Disney (DIS) – The company's Disney+ streaming service will debut in France in late March, after the company struck a deal with Vivendi's Canal+ platform. It's not know how much Canal+ plans to charge for the service.
Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) – Live Nation will reportedly face legal action from the Justice Department, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said the concert promoter will face allegations that it has sought to strong-arm venues into using its Ticketmaster subsidiary for ticket sales. More positive news on Live Nation: it will join the S&P 500, along with Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) and STERIS (STE), effective prior to the open of trading on Dec. 23. The stocks will trade places with Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), TripAdvisor (TRIP), and Macerich (MAC), which will move to the S&P MidCap 400.
Urban Outfitters (URBN) – The apparel retailer was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Loop Capital, which expressed concern about intensifying promotional activity among specialty apparel sellers.
Amgen (AMGN), UnitedHealth (UNH) – The biotech firm and the health insurer were both added to the "Conviction Buy" list at Goldman Sachs. Goldman's outlook for Amgen is above the Street's consensus, based on the company's product pipeline and receding headwinds. For UnitedHealth, Goldman points to near-term earnings power and the likelihood that Wall Street will be raising earnings estimates for the company.
British American Tobacco (BTI) – The tobacco producer received a double upgrade at Bank of America Securities, to "buy" from "underperform." Bank of America feels that the company's recent portfolio reorganization show a needed sense of urgency and that near-term regulatory risk has lessened.