Dow falls 660 points by the closing bell, weighed down by Apple

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said the US central bank should put interest rate hikes on hold because of uncertainty over global economic growth

Wall Street sign
Apple was the biggest loser among the blue chips

The US benchmarks ended the trading day deep in negative territory, fueling fears of an economic slowdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 660 points by the closing bell.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) remained the top decliner on the index after the tech giant lowered its fiscal first quarter guidance.

The S&P 500 was down more than 60 points with The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company taking the spot of top decliner after agreeing to buy Celgene Corp (NASDAQ:CELG) for US$74 billion.

On the flip side, Celgene was the best-performing stock on the Nasdaq, which fell more than 200 points.

The Russell 2000 dipped around 1.7% by the end of the trading day.

Arsanis Inc (NASDAQ:ASNS) and Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SGYP) were two of the best-performing stocks on the small-cap index.

Up north, the TSX fell about 130 points as tech stocks weighed on the index.

2:01 PM: Dow plunges more than 500 points due to Apple profit warning and feeble manufacturing data

US stocks continued to trade lower in afternoon trading, with Apple shares still being blamed for the market fall-out due to its quarterly profit warning.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 8.9% to $143.66 after the iPhone maker slashed its revenue forecast for the first quarter, hampered by sluggish sales in China.

The drop in the iPhone maker’s stock dragged down the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell 504 points to hit 22,842.

Weak manufacturing data put out by the Institute of Supply Management also weighed on market sentiment. The supply management association saw its manufacturing index drop to 54.1 in December, recording its steepest decline since October of 2008.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 shed 41 points to trade at 2,468 while the tech-laden Nasdaq fell 144 points to hit 6,520.

Chip makers such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ:AMD), which fell 9%, and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), which shed 5.6%, took a hit on the back of Apple’s profit warning.

In Canada, Toronto’s TSX shed 117 points to 14,230 while the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks lost 8 points to hover at 1,340.

10:20 AM: Dow posts triple-digit decline after Apple cuts revenue projection on China weakness

US stocks fell on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting triple-digit declines after Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) cut its quarterly revenue projection over soft demand for the iPhone in China.

The Dow fell 561.50, or 2.4%, to 22,784.74 in morning trading. The Nasdaq dropped 1.7% to 6,551.73.

Federal Reserve of Dallas President Robert Kaplan told Bloomberg that the central bank should put interest rate hikes on concern because of global economic growth uncertainty.

The US government remained partly closed as President Donald Trump sparred with Democrats in Congress over funding for the border wall with Mexico.

Apple was the biggest loser among the blue chips, falling 8.9% to $143.94 after CEO Tim Cook cited concern over China, which has been embroiled in a trade dispute with Trump.

The broader-based S&P 500 decreased 1.2% to 2,478.84. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks was little changed at 1,348.07.

Canadian stocks fell, with S&P/TSX Composite sliding 0.7% to 14,244.53.

Gold advanced as investors sought refuge, climbing 0.5% to $1,290.10 an ounce. Crude oil gained 1% to $47.02 in the US.

7:13AM: Dow Jones Industrial Average futures plunge after Apple forecast sends shockwaves around markets

US futures are pointing to a weak start Thursday as iPhone maker Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares fell through the floor after hours Wednesday after it cut its revenue guidance – something it very rarely does.

The group expects lower sales from the holiday quarter, mainly due to weak demand for iPhones in China - a huge market for Apple, making up around 15% of sales.

It now expects revenue of around US$91 billion in the final quarter of 2018 but said late last night that that figure will be nearer to US$84 billion. Apple shares plunged over 8.6% after the Wednesday bell to US$144.30.

Yesterday, Wall Street shares, having been in the red most of the day, finished higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up nearly 19 at 23,346. The Nasdaq added around 30 at 6,665.

On the Dow Jones, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), DowDuPont Inc (NYSE:DWDP) and energy giants Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) were some of the best-performing stocks on the index.

In futures trade today, the Dow Jones is down 361 points; the Nasdaq is off 167 and the broader S&P 500 is down around 40 points.

European shares are also heading south at the time of writing. In London, the FTSE 100 is down around 37 points at 6,697; the German DAX is down 159 points at 10,421. The French CAC 40 is down around 64 at 4,624.

In Asia overnight, the Nikkei 225 is off nearly 63 points at 20,014 and the Shanghai Composite Index is down 0.93 at 2,464.

James Hughes, market analyst at Axitrader in London, noted: "The Yen was a safe haven yet again overnight as Yen pairs suffered a major flash crash after Apple issued a revenue warning for 2019.

"The news from Apple which saw shares plunge 8% in after-hours trading saw a wave of risk aversion flood the FX markets as investors added this story to the thin liquidity and already fragile investor confidence stories."

In Toronto, the TSX, the largest market there, added around 24 points at 14,347.

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