The markets opened mixed with the Dow adding 11 points to 11,681 while Nasdaq eased a point to 2689 as prices rose in Europe.
On the upside
XOMA (Nasdaq: XOMA) and French pharmaceutical Les Laboratoires Servier will jointly develop and commercialize XOMA's anti-inflammatory drug XOMA 052.
Deutsche Bank analyst Jorge Beristain upgraded Alcoa (NYSE: AA) to a Buy rating citing improvement in the global aluminum market.
The Daily Mail reported that Royal Dutch Shell considered acquiring BP (NYSE: BP) after the Deep Horizon oil spill last year and may make a bid in the future.
On the downside
Morgan Stanley downgraded Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) to an Underweight rating citing inflationary pressures.
A global shortage of miners could increase costs sending shares of Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) lower.
Nvidia's (Nasdaq: NVDA) Tegra processors will power the infotainment, navigation and instrument-cluster systems in the all electric Tesla Model S sedan while Nvidia's GPUs will power navigation and vehicle-information systems in all BMWs but the stock price fell.
In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 3 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks lost 2 points to 796.
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