Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading on Thursday:
General Electric — Shares of GE rose 3.5% after Morgan Stanley raised its rating of the embattled industrial conglomerate to overweight from equal weight. The firm said GE's outlook is improving, saying that "the story has shifted from one of financial distress to a budding turnaround."
Western Digital — Shares of the chip maker rose 3.3% after Morgan Stanley upgraded its stock to an overweight rating. The firm said it expects tightness in a specific market of flash memory, which will drive price improvements. The firm's $88 target implies a 25% upside ahead. The firm also upgraded fellow semiconductor stock Micron to an overweight rating.
Boeing — The aerospace giant's stock climbed 2.8% on high trading volume, rebounding after three consecutive down days. Boeing shares had slipped steadily as the 737 Max crisis continues to unfold: Newly-appointed CEO David Calhoun on Tuesday said he doesn't expect the aircraft to fly until June or July at best.
Comcast — Shares of Comcast fell 3.8% on Thursday morning despite the media and telecom giant beating estimates for its fourth quarter earnings. The telecommunications conglomerate beat expectations on the top and bottom lines, but also reported an acceleration of cable video subscriber losses and a 21% drop in theatrical revenue.
Procter & Gamble — Shares of Procter & Gamble slid 0.5% after the consumer giant reported quarterly revenue that fell short of estimates for the first time in five quarters. P&G posted $18.24 billion in revenue in its fiscal second quarter, less than $18.37 billion expected per Refinitiv. The company was hurt by a stronger dollar and a struggling baby segment, which includes Pampers diapers.
Travelers — Shares of Travelers plunged nearly 5.1xx% to become the worst performer in the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average after the insurance company reported disappointing quarterly results. The company said its net premiums written, an important measure of revenue growth, rose less than expected. Additionally, it reported a margin miss in business insurance due to its experience with an accelerating tort environment.
V.F. Corp. — Shares of the retailer fell 9.7% after the company reported third quarter results. Profit per share was $1.23, which was ahead of analyst estimates, but revenue was lighter than expected. The company also lowered its full year guidance, due to softness in its Timberland brand.
American Airlines — American Airlines rose 5.4% after it topped modest expectations for its fourth-quarter results. The carrier reported $414 in net income, up 27% from the year prior, and $11.31 billion in revenue despite the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max. The airline said it canceled 10,000 flights in the fourth quarter, due to the Max being unavailable and other operational issues.
Yum China — Shares of Yum China tumbled 4.9%, bringing its weekly loss to over 10%, on concerns about declining sales amid the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The operator of Taco Bell and KFC also hit correction levels on Thursday, on track for its worst week since Sept. 2018.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.
– CNBC's Yun Li, Jesse Pound and Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.