Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Caterpillar – The heavy equipment maker’s stock was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, which said macroeconomic risks have receded due to both the recent less hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and the weekend agreement between President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping to suspend further tariffs for 90 days.
Qualcomm – The chip maker said its rejected deal to buy NXP Semiconductors will remain dead, even after the White House suggested that China could reverse itself and approve the deal following the Trump-Xi talks at G-20 over the weekend.
Gilead Sciences – The drugmaker said nearly 40 percent of lymphoma patients being treated with its Yescarta drug were still responding to the therapy at least two years after treatment.
Amazon.com – Amazon is testing its cashier-less checkout technology in bigger stores, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Wall Street Journal.
Tribune Media – Tribune has agreed to be bought by rival TV station operator Nexstar Media for $46.50 per share, or $6.4 billion including assumed debt. The deal creates America’s largest local TV broadcaster.
Microsoft – Microsoft’s market value at Friday’s close was higher than Apple’s, making it the world’s most valuable company for the first time since 2002. Microsoft had passed Apple in value intraday several times during the week, but had not closed in the #1 slot until Friday.
Costco – Costco was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Citi, which said the warehouse retailer faces more tailwinds than headwinds in 2019, including increased labor costs.
Nike – Nike was named Citi’s “top pick” for 2019, with Citi saying the athletic footwear and apparel maker’s global growth story remains intact and that the stock deserves a premium multiple.
AT&T – AT&T was added to the focus list at J.P. Morgan Securities, with the stock being upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral.” The firm says negatives are already priced into the stock and it now has a better understanding of the organic growth story following meetings with management. At the same time, J.P. Morgan downgraded Verizon to “neutral” from “overweight.”