NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) may be Monday's big newsmaker with its Worldwide Developer Conference. But traders on StockTwits.com aren't waiting for Tim Cook and Co. to get started. Instead, they're watching announcements from small drug companies on medication trials and tuning in to rumors about big pharma buyouts.
And, so far today, their attention is paying off.
Drug companies Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA), MannKind (MNKD), NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP) and Pharmacyclics (PCYC) were the top trending tickers on StockTwits.com Monday morning. They were joined on the trending bar of the dozen most discussed stocks by two biotech ETFs, iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB) and SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI).
Apple made the list too, due to hype over what management could reveal about the company's product pipeline and plans for Beats Electronics. But many on StockTwits.com said that excitement was misplaced. Apple, they noted, has a history of disappointing WWDC expectations. The stock has declined after eleven of the past conferences.
Investors on StockTwits were most interested in Ariad Pharmaceuticals. The company topped the StockTwits trending ticker bar with news that a drug to treat certain types of gastrointestinal tumors had positive results in early Phase II clinical trials. The FDA is lifting a partial ban that had restricted the company's ability to enroll new human test subjects.