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.
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.
Beijing, Jan 2 (AP/UNB) — Asian stock markets tumbled Wednesday as 2019 trading began, after surveys showed Chinese manufacturing weakening.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.1 percent to 2,465.29 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 2.6 percent to 25,161.03. Japan's markets were closed. Seoul's Kospi lost 1.3 percent to 2,013.80 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.9 percent to 5,593.80. Manila advanced while Singapore and Jakarta retreated. New Zealand was closed.
CHINESE FACTORIES: Surveys by China's government and a major business magazine showed activity weakened in December as global and domestic demand cooled. Forecasters said that could send shockwaves through Asian economies that supply Chinese factories with raw materials and components. Chinese export growth has held up as producers rushed to fill orders before possible new U.S. tariff hikes in Washington's trade battle with Beijing, but forecasters said that effect may be fading.
ANALYST'S COMMENT: The Chinese manufacturing downturn "raises a few red flags," said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report. The slide is "not entirely surprising given more challenging global trade conditions," but it is "potentially symptomatic of far sharper underlying demand pullback," said Varathan. China's trade and investment ties with its neighbors mean the slowdown "will reverberate more widely to other Asian exporters."
CURRENCY: The dollar edged down to 109.36 yen from Monday's 109.67. The euro declined to $1.1446 from $1.1466.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 41 cents to $45.00 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 8 cents on Monday to close at $45.41. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slumped 53 cents to $53.27 per barrel in London. It added 59 cents the previous session to close at $53.80.
Washington, Jan 1 (AP/UNB)- Ivanka Trump is set to launch a White House effort aimed at women's global economic empowerment in early 2019.
A formal launch for the initiative was planned for next week but has been postponed amid uncertainty about the government shutdown, the White House said Monday. The original plan for the event included remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, as well as from officials from a host of government agencies, financial organizations and private businesses, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Walmart and Bank of America.
The initiative, which is backed by the State Department and the National Security Council, seeks to align government agencies behind the mission of supporting women's economic development around the world. It will also include private-sector investment. First daughter Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser who has made supporting women in business part of her portfolio, led the policy process over the past year and a half.
"I look forward to continuing to work with the interagency and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to advance women's access to vocational training, fuel female entrepreneurship and lift legal and social barriers that restrict our full and free economic participation," Ivanka Trump said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Bolton said in a statement that the initiative "directly supports President Trump's National Security Strategy."
Ivanka Trump previously led an effort to launch a World Bank fund to help drive women's entrepreneurship. She recently advocated for the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, which has passed Congress. That legislation bolsters efforts focused on women by the United States Agency for International Development.
Tokyo , Dec 31 (AP/UNB) — A Japanese news report says former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn will be detained at least through Jan. 11.
Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades saving the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy, was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of falsifying financial reports.
He also faces a breach of trust allegation, for which his detention had been approved previously through Jan. 1.
Kyodo News said the Tokyo District Court approved prosecutors' request for a 10-day extension on Monday.
The court was not immediately available for comment. Much of the nation's government offices are shut down for the New Year's Eve and New Year's holidays.
Ghosn has been charged in the first set of allegations, about under-reporting Ghosn's pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015.