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U.S. stocks fell at the open on Monday as manufacturing growth across Asia and Europe eased in November, while retailers could be pressured as Thanksgiving weekend in-store sales failed to impress. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.08 percent at 17,814.06, the S&P 500 was down 0.46 percent at 2,058 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.92 percent at 4,747.36.
** APPLE INC, $116.1398, -2.35 pct
The iPad maker's shares tumbled in early trading. The cause of the decline was not yet clear, though traders pointed to high-speed algorithmic trading programs as a potential culprit. Steve Hammer, a trading educator and founder of HFT Alert in Santa Barbara, California, which monitors algorithmic trading, said about 300 different stocks showed elevated price traffic beginning about 9:50 a.m. EST, a sign of institutions putting on sell programs.
Morgan Stanley strategists dropped Apple's weighting in their strategic portfolio to 3 percent from 4 percent in an equity outlook note released Monday, but traders said the swiftness of the decline was too dramatic to be attributed solely to the note.
Graphic on Apple's slide (link.reuters.com/vys53w)
Apple leads sharp slide in tech shares
** FACEBOOK INC, $75.67, -2.61 pct
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, $106.83, -4.31 pct
** AMAZON.COM INC, $329.95, -2.57 pct
** LINKEDIN CORP, $219.09, -3.17 pct
** TWITTER INC, $39.61, -5.10 pct
** MOL GLOBAL INC, $1.81, -55.75 pct
The Malaysian online payments company said Chief Financial Officer Allan Wong resigned last month for personal reasons, not because of any accounting or financial reporting issues. MOL Global's shares, which were halted on Nov. 24 after the company said it would delay its quarterly earnings report, fell as much as 45 percent to $2.25 after resuming trade on the Nasdaq Monday.
** MACY'S INC , $63.67, -1.91 pct
** WAL-MART STORES INC, $86.93, -0.70 pct
** TARGET CORP , $72.9, -1.49 pct
** BEST BUY CO INC , $37.49, -4.87 pct
** JC PENNEY CO INC, $7.595, -5.18 pct
** SEARS HOLDING CORP , $35.9476, -0.42 pct
Early holiday promotions and rising online shopping took a toll on in-store U.S. sales during the Thanksgiving weekend as shoppers on average spent 6.4 percent less than they did a year earlier, according to data released Sunday by the National Retail Federation.
** DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG INC, $22.67, -4.91 pct
FBR Capital Markets cut its rating on the Hollywood studio's shares to "underperform" from "market perform", according to theflyonthewall.com (bit.ly/1CxRvlz)
FBR said it believed the company is having trouble with post-"Shrek" franchises and cut price target to $14 from $20, according to the website.
** POZEN INC, $7.49, -15.75 pct
The drugmaker said partner Sanofi SA returned rights to Yosprala, a variant of aspirin. Pozen CEO John Plachetka said in a conference call that the $15 million upfront payment will remain with the company but did not comment on the $20 million milestone payment.
** TAHOE RESOURCES INC, $14.38, -9.96 pct
Dundee Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets cut their rating on Tahoe's stock after Guatemala passed a legislation that would raise government's royalties in the production from the company's mine, Escobal, to 10 pct from the existing 5 pct.
Analysts expect the hike to shrink net asset value of the mine by 11 percent.
** EXELIXIS INC, $1.545, -6.93 pct
The company said its experimental prostate cancer drug failed to meet the main goal of a second late-stage study. The drug had earlier failed to meet the main goal of a late-stage study.
** COEUR MINING INC , $4.57, +11.19 pct
** PARAMOUNT GOLD AND SILVER CORP, $0.793, +20.15 pct
Coeur Mining, the biggest U.S. producer of silver, is in advanced negotiations to acquire Paramount Gold and Silver, according to people familiar with the matter, as it seeks to expand its mining footprint in Mexico.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $233.45, -4.53 pct
BMW is not interested in buying a stake in Tesla, German weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported, citing a BMW statement.
Tesla said last week there had been informal talks between the companies over a possible collaboration in batteries and lightweight components, but there were no plans to set up an alliance.
** OASIS PETROLEUM INC, $17.16, -6.64 pct
** OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP, $79.67, +4.08 pct
** GOODRICH PETROLEUM CORP, $4.87, -19.50 pct
** ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP, $78.4, -0.95 pct
** ENERGY XXI LTD, $3.45, -13.97 pct
** BREITBURN ENERGY PARTNERS LP, $11.1928, -15.27 pct
** SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC, $2.62, -6.76 pct
** TESCO CORP, $12.9, -8.45 pct
** VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES, $20.95, -0.95 pct
** PETROBRAS SA, $9.09, -6.48 pct
Oil and gas companies' shares fell after Brent crude fell to a five-year low of below $68
Brent crude was down 43 cents at $69.72/bbl at 1209 GMT following last week's OPEC decision not to cut production
U.S. crude was down 57 cents at $65.58/bbl, having slipped to an intraday low of $63.72, the lowest since July 2009.
BREAKINGVIEWS-Oil plunge mirrors 2008 surge, but will endure
** ZIONS BANCORP, $27.245, -2.90 pct
** COMERICA INC, $45.43, -2.53 pct
** TEXAS CAPITAL BANCSHARES INC, $52.88, -4.08 pct
** PROSPERITY BANCSHARES INC, $53.05, -5.57 pct
Shares of U.S. Gulf Coast-focused banks down 2-5 pct. These banks lend heavily to oil and gas producers.
** KNIGHTSBRIDGE SHIPPING LTD, $5.1, -9.89 pct
** NAVIOS MARITIME HOLDINGS INC, $4.38, -9.50 pct
** DRYSHIPS INC, $1.19, -9.16 pct
** TOP SHIPS INC, $1.4, -9.09 pct
Shares of dry bulk shippers fell as companies felt the pinch of lower rates for capesize vessels. Average daily earnings for capesize vessels fell to $14,752 per day, their lowest since Oct. 21.
** AETERNA ZENTARIS INC, $0.6489, +24.79 pct
The drug developer licensed its lead anti-cancer compound zoptarelin doxorubicin to China-based Sinopharm A-Think Pharmaceuticals Co Ltd for $1 million to develop the drug in China, Hong Kong and Macao.
** BIG LOTS INC, $47.75, -6.00 pct
JP Morgan Securities analysts downgraded stock to "neutral" from "overweight" and cut price target to $51 from $53. "The low-hanging fruit has been harvested" with its "access to credit" initiatives and online retailers and rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp would provide stiff competition, the analysts said.
** E2OPEN INC, $47.75, -6.00 pct
Northland Securities upgrades the business software provider's shares to "outperform" from "market perform", according to Benzinga.com.
** CTC MEDIA INC, $5.42, -9.06 pct
Russian broadcaster hit by the rouble tumbling to its record low against U.S. dollar as oil prices plunge again. Ruble seen as unlikely to stabilize until oil sell-off ends, but troubles extend beyond commodities.
** WESTPORT INNOVATIONS INC, $4.12, -12.71 pct
Jefferies & Co analysts downgraded stock to "hold" from "buy", citing weaker-than-expected demand for natural gas vehicles in 2014. The company will need to cut R&D spending further to achieve profitability targets, they added.
** 21VIANET GROUP INC, $19.8, +5.21 pct
The Chinese data-center services provider says software maker Kingsoft Corp Ltd, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp and Singapore-based investment firm Temasek Holdings Pvt Ltd would buy stakes for $18/ADS.
** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, $9.515, +5.37 pct
The power management chip maker said it would buy back $1 billion of shares over next four years, replacing the $300 million program announced in 2012.
** GOLDCORP INC, $21.12, +7.54 pct
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $12.31, +3.53 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $4.36, +7.13 pct
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $2.83, +8.43 pct
U.S.-listed shares of gold and silver miners up 1-5 pct premarket as Moody's cuts rating on Japan, sending Japanese yen to 7-year low against dollar, stimulating demand for gold (Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)