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Oracle, Blackstone, Walmart, Hertz, AT&T & more

Stocks are expected to break out to new highs, barring any errant presidential trade tweets


Oracle, Blackstone, Walmart, Hertz, AT&T & more

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:Oracle — Co-Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd will be taking a health-related leave of absence, with his responsibilities covered by Co-Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The business software giant also released its quarterly earnings, with adjusted profit of 81 cents per share, matching Street forecasts. Revenue came in slightly below estimates, however.SmileDirectClub – SmileDirectClub will make its Wall Street debut today after pricing its initial public offering at $23 per share, above the projected range of $19 to $22 a share. That price means the IPO will raise $1.3 billion and value the maker of teeth-straightening devices at $8.9 billion.Walmart – Walmart is rolling out an unlimited grocery delivery subscription service at $98 per year. It will be offered in 200 markets around the country and expand to more than 50% of the U.S. by the end of the year.Hertz – Investor Carl Icahn has increased his stake in the car rental company to 30.1% from the prior 29.5%. Icahn and his affiliates are by far the largest shareholders in Hertz.Anheuser-Busch InBev – Anheuser-Busch is set to revive the planned IPO of its Asia Pacific unit, according to Reuters, and plans to raise about $5 billion. The beer brewer had shelved plans for a Hong Kong IPO in July.British American Tobacco – British American Tobacco will lay off 2,300 workers by January, about 4% of its workforce. The move by the world’s second largest tobacco company will affect more than 20% of its upper management roles.Blackstone – Blackstone raised $20.5 billion for its largest-ever real estate fund. The private-equity firm plans to invest in property around the world.AT&T – AT&T said weakness in its wireless equipment unit could hurt current-quarter revenue, and also said this quarter’s revenue at its WarnerMedia unit would fall by $400 million from a year ago.Yelp – Yelp may be an acquisition target of daily deals company Groupon, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said Groupon is planning an acquisition amid shareholder discontent about its performance, and that the online review site may be a logical matchup.General Electric – GE received $2.7 billion from its previously announced plan to reduce its ownership in Baker Hughes. GE sold shares at $21.50 per share and reduced its stake in Baker Hughes to 38.4 percent from more than 50%.Activision Blizzard – The video game maker’s stock was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Nomura Instinet, which notes momentum from the August launch of “World of Warcraft Classic” and positive reception surrounding the October launch of “Modern Warfare.”AbbVie – UBS upgraded the drug maker to “buy” from “neutral,” based on optimism surrounding its acquisition of Allergan and the ability of key growth assets to offset the impact of declining Humira sales.

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