Stocks fall as Apple spooks markets with virus warning

February 19, 2020: Global stock markets fell Tuesday after Apple said the new coronavirus was hurting revenues, fueling investors' fears over the damage the epidemic is inflicting on corporate bottom lines.

Apple said it would miss its revenue forecast for the current quarter and global iPhone supplies would fall, sending tremors of dismay across trading floors.

On Wall Street, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6 percent, and the broad-based S&P 500 also fell.

“The big news is Apple, and the big worry is to what extent does it signal that the Chinese economy is going to come back slower than what the stock market is looking for? It is still a giant unknown,” said Karl Haeling of LBBW.

Apple's stock ended the day down just under two percent, and gold, a favored investor safe haven, saw its price climb.

“The health crisis is causing major disruption to businesses in the second-largest economy in the world, so traders are ducking out of equities,” said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets UK.

– 'Bumpy ride' – Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said most analysts now predicted that the virus could “significantly” affect short term earnings.

“Best to buckle in as we could be in for a bumpy ride,” he said.

On Wall Street, Walmart, the largest US private employer reported lower than expected fourth quarter earnings, but its stock ended up 1.5 percent.

Electric automaker Tesla was up more than seven percentage points and Netflix saw its share price increase by nearly two percent.

Apple's announcement hit its suppliers in Asia earlier in the day in what was overall a rough session for the continent's markets.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended in the red after data showed the Japanese economy shrinking in the December quarter, and Singapore's stocks fell after the government cut its economic growth forecast over the virus.

Hong Kong also fell, as banking heavyweight HSBC reported a 33-percent fall in 2019 pre-tax profits alongside an announcement that it was cutting 35,000 jobs. HSBC shares in London fell sharply.

UK data showing the country's unemployment rate steady at 3.8 percent caused the pound to gain but it ended the day essentially flat.

– Key figures around 2200 GMT – New York – Dow: DOWN 0.6 percent at 29,232.19 (close) New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,370.29 (close) New York – Nasdaq: FLAT at 9,732.74 (close) London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.7 percent at 7,382.01 points (close) Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.8 percent at 13,681.19 (close) Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.5 percent at 6,056.82 (close) EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,836.54 (close) Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.4 percent at 23,193.80 (close) Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 2,984.97 (close) Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 1.5 percent at 27,530.20 (close) Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0792 from $1.0836 Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2996 from $1.3008 Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.01 pence from 83.31 pence Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.87 from 109.88 Brent Crude: FLAT at $57.66 per barrel West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.1 percent at $52.12.

AFP/APP

Posted on: 2020-02-19T10:12:00+05:00

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