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Stocks opened slightly lower Monday, as shares of Apple (AAPL) fell on an analyst downgrade.
XAutoplay: On | OffThe Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all opened with losses of around 0.1%.
Apple slipped 0.8% at the open after Pacific Crest Securities reduced its rating on Apple to sector weight from overweight, citing a possible delay in the iPhone 8 and the risk that Apple will face declining sales after the iPhone 8. The analyst recommended shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) instead.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference starts today, and the company is expected to unveil a new mobile operating system, smart-home device and updated Mac computers.
Several biotechs were on the move including Loxo Oncology (LOXO). Shares jumped 49% after company presented data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting over the weekend. Its experimental drug larotrectinib is showing promise treating cancer in several areas of the body.
At the same conference, Puma Biotechnology (PBYI) also delivered good news to shareholders. Shares soared 9% at the open after the company reported positive results from an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of its drug PB272 for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain.
Elsewhere, Herbalife (HLF) slumped 4% after the supplements maker gave a weak sales outlook, partly due to tougher FTC regulations. Herbalife has been a well-publicized short for hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. It’s also a well-documented long position for investor Carl Icahn.
European bourses were slightly lower ahead of a European Central Bank monetary policy meeting later in the week. London’s FTSE 100 eased 0.2% while the Paris CAC-40 gave back 0.8%. Germany’s stock market was closed.
Gold extended gains. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) added 0.2% to 121.61 early Monday. The exchange-traded fund is back above the 50-day moving average as it approaches a 123.17 buy point.
Benchmark crude oil gave back 1% to $47.21 a barrel. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt are cutting diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, potentially threatening the production agreement that OPEC and top non-OPEC members reached last month.