GE, GM, HSBC, Dish Network, Uber, KKR & more

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:General Electric – GE announced actions to cut its pension plan deficit by up to $8 billion and net debt by up to $6 billion. Those actions include freezing the pension plan for current employees and offering lump-sum buyouts to retirees who have not yet begun to collect benefits.General Motors – GM and the United Auto Workers Union have hit some setbacks in their contract talks, according to union officials. The two sides are still talking, however, as the strike enters its 22nd day.HSBC – HSBC is planning to cut up to 10,000 jobs, according to a report in today’s Financial Times. That would amount to more than 4% of the bank’s workforce as it seeks to reduce costs.Dish Network – The satellite TV operator and Fox Corp. reached agreement on a new multi-year contract, restoring access to Fox local channels for Dish customers after a two-week absence.Uber Technologies – Uber was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Citi, with a price target unchanged at $45 per share. Citi is optimistic about a positive shift in sentiment surrounding Uber’s core ride-sharing business, among other factors.Carnival Corp. – Carnival was downgraded to “hold” from “buy” at HSBC, which points to a slide in fiscal 2020 bookings for the cruise line operator.KKR – KKR is seeking to raise $1.5 billion for its third “special situations” fund, according to a Reuters report. Those funds invest in bonds of companies about to enter bankruptcy. The private-equity firm raised $2 billion for its first such fund in 2014, and $3.35 billion for its second fund in 2016.Invesco – Invesco is cutting staff to help meet an annual cost-savings target of $475 million, according to the Financial Times. The asset-management firm has been cutting jobs after buying smaller rival OppenheimerFunds, a deal announced last October and closed earlier this year.Wendy’s – Cowen downgraded the restaurant chain’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” on concerns about Wendy’s plans for a nationwide breakfast menu launch in 2020.SmileDirectClub – The maker of home teeth straightening kits is the subject of multiple analyst reports, with ratings of “buy” (Stifel Nicolaus, Jefferies), “overweight” (JPMorgan Chase), and “buy/high risk” (Citi), with most of the analyst comment centering on the company’s first-mover advantage in an underserved market.

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