New York, Jan 4 (AP/UNB) — Stocks tumbled Thursday on Wall Street, with technology companies suffering their worst loss in seven years, after Apple reported that iPhone sales are slipping in China.
The rare warning of disappointing results from Apple stoked investors' fears that the world's second-biggest economy is losing steam and that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing are making things worse. The sell-off also came after a surprisingly weak report on U.S. manufacturing.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 660 points, or 2.8 percent, and the broader S&P 500 index fell 2.5 percent.
Apple stock plummeted 10 percent, wiping out more than $74 billion of the company's market value. That's almost as much as Starbucks is worth and more than Lockheed Martin, Lowe's, Caterpillar, General Electric or Morgan Stanley.
Other major exporters, including heavy-machinery manufacturers and tech companies like Intel and Microsoft, also took big losses.
"For a while now there's been an adage in the markets that as long as Apple was doing fine, everyone else would be OK," said Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com. "Therefore, Apple's rare profit warning is a red flag for market watchers. The question is to what extent this is more Apple-specific."
Over the past year, the U.S. and China slapped new tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of imports in a trade war that threatens to snarl multinational companies' supply lines and reduce demand for their products. Companies such as General Motors, Caterpillar and Daimler have all said recently that trade tensions and slower growth in China are damaging their businesses.
"When the largest and second-largest economies in the world get into a trade dispute, the rest of the world's going to feel the effects. That's what we're seeing now," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Cresset Wealth Advisors.
In a letter to shareholders Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that iPhone demand is waning in China and that the company expects revenue of $84 billion for the quarter that just ended. That's $7 billion less than analysts expected.
Cook's comments echoed the concerns that have pushed investors to flee stocks over the past three months. The U.S. stock market in 2018 posted its worst year in a decade.
The S&P 500 lost 62.14 points Thursday, closing at 2,447.89. The Dow fell to 22,868.22. The Nasdaq, which has a high concentration of tech stocks, retreated 202.43 points, or 3 percent, to 6,463.50.
U.S. government bond prices surged, sending yields to their lowest level in almost a year, and gold and high-dividend stocks like utilities also rose as investors looked for safer places to put their money.
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of U.S. manufacturing fell to its lowest level in two years, and new orders have fallen sharply since November. Manufacturing is still growing, but at a slower pace than it has recently.
Apple's stock has slumped 39 percent since early October. The company also recently announced that it would stop disclosing how many iPhones it sold each quarter, a move many investors suspected was an attempt to hide bad news.
Apple took its biggest loss in six years and ended at $142.19. Microsoft fell 3.7, Intel 5.5 percent. The S&P 500 technology companies had their worst day since August 2011.
Among big industrial companies that could suffer from a drop in demand from China, Caterpillar declined 3.9 percent, Deere 2.7 percent and Boeing 4 percent.
"This situation is yet another example of how politics — in this case, the trade war — has exacerbated real but manageable economic concerns and turned them into something worse than they have to be," Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network, wrote in a note to clients.
Dhaka, January 3, (UNB) – Speakers at a dialogue on Thursday called for effective and essential reforms to attract investment and improve the ease of doing business in Bangladesh.
The calls came at a dialogue on ‘ease of doing business’ report organised jointly by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) at DCCI Auditorium on Thursday.
“We should focus on those policy reforms which will directly impact ease of doing business improvement,” said Kazi M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
Bangladesh ranks 176 globally, one place up from last year’s 177.
Aminul said there were many indicators where Bangladesh was doing good but they were not reflected in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report.
He suggested forming a special taskforce comprising core people engaged with ease of doing business reform process.
“All concerned ministries should have their priority task list for improving business climate and should work in a coordinated manner for better result,” he said.
Senior private sector specialist of World Bank group Shihab Ansari Azhar presented the keynote paper and highlighted the example of India in ease of doing business index.
“Support and commitment from the top level are must in order to enhance the position in the index,” he said. “An empowered and strong reform coordinator is also necessary. Moreover clear targets and clear visions to be set for the success.”
DCCI President Osama Taseer urged for business deregulation, financial sector reforms, tax rate reduction and simplification, major legal reforms, improvement need to be brought under reform agenda.
Trade facilitation measure needs to be implemented fast to ease cross-border trade and enable exponential export earnings growth led by RMG.
Md Mofizul Islam, secretary of commerce, said India had achieved tremendous improvement in the ease of doing business report recently. But the context of trade regime of India and Bangladesh are different.
He called upon the private sector to put forward necessary policy suggestions so that the government can enact all possible reforms to improve ease of doing business. “More efforts are needed for engaging the private sector to drive higher economic growth,” he said.
Additional Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh said EPB would issue Statement of Origin for exporters from the next year. It will reduce hassles. About 13 to 14 documents are needed for export process which will reduce to seven by the next year.
Senior Vice President of DCCI Waqar Ahmad Choudhury emphasised access to credit for the private sector and reduction of non-performing loans to improve in the ease of doing business index.
Chairman of BUILD and President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mahbubul Alam said BUILD is working for ease of doing business through arranging public-private dialogues.
“BUILD is also doing research on how to minimize unnecessary documentation in export and import level process. A coordinated effort is must for improving in ease of doing business index,” he added.
Dhaka, Jan 3 (UNB) – Motorola's new smartphone ‘MotorolaOne’ will be available in Bangladesh from January 5.
The phone runs on AndroidOne and packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset and an octa-core processor under the hood. It comes with a 5.9’’ HD + Max Vision notch display and uses gorilla glass on both sides.
It also offers 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM, with expandable storage of up to 256GB. Motorola says users will “feel the difference” playing games, watching movies, and doing whatever they need to do.
The 3000 mAh non-removable battery offers six-hour backup with 20 minutes of charging. A full charge will ideally get you through the day.
MotorolaOne is equipped with 13+2 megapixel dual rear cameras and an 8 megapixel depth-sensing selfie camera. It also comes with Google Lens.
In Bangladesh, the smartphone can only be bought from Gadget & Gear and Pickaboo.com for Tk 23,990.
Singapore, Jan 3 (AP/UNB) — Asian markets were mixed on Thursday after tumbling more than 1 percent on the first trading day of 2019. Apple downgraded its sales projections, citing slowing Chinese growth, hitting technology shares in South Korea and Taiwan. The Japanese yen, seen as a relatively safe asset, strengthened against the dollar, euro and several other Asian and European currencies.
KEEPING SCORE: South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 2,007.06 and Taiwan's benchmark fell 0.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,465.36, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.3 percent at 25,058.69. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 rebounded 1.4 percent to 5,632.80. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore but rose in Indonesia and the Philippines. Japan's markets were closed.
WALL STREET: A turbulent day on Wall Street saw stocks plunging before recovering and finishing slightly higher. Surveys by the China's government and a major business magazine that showed Chinese manufacturing had slowed in December weighed on sentiment. Still, the broad S&P 500 index added 0.1 percent to 2,510.03 on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which lost 398 points in the first few minutes of trading, closed 0.1 percent higher at 23,346.24. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.5 percent to 6,665.94. The Dow future contract was down 1.4 percent early Thursday and that for the S&P 500 lost 1.3 percent.
APPLE RELEASE: Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to shareholders released after markets closed on Wednesday that he expects the tech giant's revenue for the October-December quarter to fall below internal and analysts' projections. Apple now expects revenue of $84 billion for the quarter, about 9 percent lower than the $91.3 billion estimate from analysts polled by FactSet. The official results will be released on Jan. 29. Cook attributed most of the revenue drop to China, where the economy has been slowing and where U.S. tariffs have been raised on more than $200 billion in goods, although the iPhone hasn't been affected directly so far. The company's shares fell 7.6 percent to $146 in after-hours trading.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "A flight to safety following the series of aggravating releases since the turn of the year saw the rush into the yen this morning. Doubling down on Asia markets for a second day today would be the latest downward revision in Q1 guidance from tech giant, Apple," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a market commentary. "The already shaky foundation for Apple owing to the likelihood of the company's products being enlisted into the tariffs scuffle saw their latest move to lower revenue outlook packing a punch for share prices," she added.
ENERGY: Oil prices, which have fallen about 40 percent since last October, settled after jumping at the start of the year. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 83 cents to $45.71 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped 2.5 percent to $46.54 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 43 cents to $54.48 per barrel. It added 2.1 percent to $54.91 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 107.16 yen from 108.86 late Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1366 from $1.1344.
Dhaka, Jan 2 (UNB) – Bangladeshi brand Walton wants to sell two million units of fridges in the local market this year.
The company claims to have sold 1.5 million units in 2018. Walton holds nearly 75 percent share in the local fridge market, its officials said.
Uday Hakim, deputy executive director of Walton Group, said he was optimistic about achieving milestones in 2019.
“We plan to release global models with latest technology in the local market at affordable prices,” he noted.
Md Amdadul Hoque Sarkar, executive director and head of sales of Walton, said they were registering about 30 percent sales growth every year.
“To meet this year’s goal, we will release over 150 models of frost and non-frost refrigerators with innovative designs,” he said.
Walton is exporting ‘Made in Bangladesh’ refrigerators to various Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries.
“We are now focusing on exporting to developed nations like Australia, America and Europe,” Amdadul added.