U.S. futures were in the red Thursday morning, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrials and Nasdaq all down about 0.1% before the opening bell. Crude oil was also declining, off 0.24% ahead of Thursday's OPEC meeting.
It was largely a down day in other world markets. Asian markets were mixed Thursday, with the Nikkei closing down 2.3%, and the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite up 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. European markets were slightly lower across the board. The FTSE 100 was down 0.1%, while the DAX and the CAC 40 were both about 0.2% lower with about three hours left of trading.
Shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM) were down about 1% in premarket trading, after analysts at Bank of America downgraded their rating on the Texas-based oil and gas giant to Neutral from Outperform.
The downgrade comes ahead of Thursday's meeting in Vienna with leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which many analysts will be tuning into, awaiting for a decision on whether producers plan to set oil-production limits.
In a Thursday note, the analysts said that under their long-term price assumption of $80 per barrel of Brent oil, the fair value of Exxon stands at roughly $96, representing about 8% upside potential from premarket trading levels.
Meanwhile, shares of Apple (AAPL) were also trading down about 1% before the opening bell, following news that analysts at Goldman Sachs lowered their price target on the stock to $124 from $136.
In a Thursday investment note the Goldman analysts said Apple is likely to achieve lower-than-expected growth in the smartphone industry, predicting the tech giant to sell about 211 million units this year, noting China stands as the company's most significant competitve risk.
Shares of online-file-sharing company Box (BOX) were 8% lower in premarket trading, following a postmarket earnings beat Wednesday, but falling sharply below forecasts in its "key billing metric," according to analysts with J.P. Morgan Securities.
Despite strong first-quarter sales of $90 million -- up 37% year over year and higher than Wall Street consensus estimates of $80 million -- billings of $76 million fell short of consensus projections of $85 million, prompting some investor concerns over cooling growth, the analyst said.
Meanwhile, the Redwood City, Calif.-based company reported a loss of $0.18 per share, topping consensus forecasts for a loss of $0.24 per share.