Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Walmart, Target, Macy’s – These and other retail stocks are on watch today, following holiday shopping season numbers that were the best in six years. Mastercard reports a 5.1 percent increase in U.S. retail sales between November 1 and December 24.
Marriott, Expedia – The two companies are in the final stages of talks over fees that Marriott will pay the online booking company. The Wall Street Journal reports that this negotiation is seen as key in the industry, with the world’s largest hotel company having more clout than ever following its takeover of Starwood two years ago.
Amazon.com — A top Amazon executive privately advised the Trump administration on creating a new internet portal that could generate billions for Amazon, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The official in question had been chief U.S. acquisition officer during the Obama administration. The paper does say it’s not clear if any policies were violated, and that a contract for the portal hasn’t been awarded as yet.
Activision Blizzard, Amazon.com, Alphabet – A research report from Baird points to these “triple A” stocks as good bets for a rebound following the recent tumble in the stocks, given their behavior following other recent market corrections. Baird gives “honorable” mention to Facebook and Take-Two Interactive.
Perrigo – Perrigo shares are rebounding from sharp losses incurred earlier this week, following a demand by Ireland that the Dublin-based drug maker pay a $1.8 billion tax bill related to its 2013 takeover of another drug company, Elan.
Roku – The streaming video device maker was named “top pick for 2019” at Needham, based on growth in the over-the-top video market, strategic position, demographic reach, and other factors.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – Wedbush removed the cruise line operator’s stock from its “Best Ideas” list due to what it calls “investment price discipline”, but still rates the stock “outperform” with a $65 price target.