Stocks take a beating after iPhone sales slip; Dow falls 660
NEW YORK (AP) — 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.
With slump in iPhone sales, are we post Peak Smartphone?
NEW YORK (AP) — Behind Apple’s disconcerting news of weak iPhone sales lies a more sobering truth: The tech industry has hit Peak Smartphone, a tipping point when everyone who can afford one already owns one and no breakthroughs are compelling them to upgrade as frequently as they once did. Some manufacturers have boosted prices to keep up profits, although Apple’s shortfall in China may highlight the limits of that strategy
Waning iPhone demand highlights Chinese consumer anxiety
BEIJING (AP) — Apple’s $1,000 iPhone is a tough sell to consumers in China unnerved by an economic slump and the trade war with the U.S. The company says demand is waning, and revenue for the last three months of 2018 will fall below projections. CEO Tim Cook points to China for the decrease. The Apple news shows how vulnerable many big U.S. companies are to a slowdown in China, especially as the world’s two biggest economies seek to settle a contentious trade dispute.
Bristol-Myers Squibb buying Celgene in $74B deal
SUMMIT, N.J. (AP) —Bristol-Myers Squibb is spending $74 billion on fellow drugmaker Celgene in a deal aimed at stocking the combined company’s development pipeline with cancer, immunology and cardiovascular treatments. Bristol would gain the cancer treatment Revlimid in the cash-and-stock deal announced Thursday, as well as inflammatory disease treatments and several products close to launching. The combined company will have nine products with more than $1 billion in annual sales.
Apple drops iPhone bombshell on already reeling stock market
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple acknowledged that demand for iPhones is sagging, a warning likely to roil financial markets. It confirmed investor fears that the company’s most profitable product has lost some of its luster. CEO Tim Cook said that iPhone sales fell well below projections, especially in China, amid a trans-Pacific trade war and concern over global economic weakness.
Worries grow about impact of a prolonged government shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — With President Donald Trump warning that it “could be a long time” before the partial shutdown of the government ends, concerns are rising about potential economic damage given that the shutdown is coinciding with other threats. Should it drag into February, the slowdown in government activity could shake confidence and cause businesses and consumers to stop spending.
Detecting depression: Phone apps could monitor teen angst
Smartphones have been blamed for contributing to depression and suicidal behavior in susceptible teens. But what if they could be used to identify kids at risk? That idea is the spark for a race to develop phone apps to detect impending mental health crises. Developers say as teens scroll through Instagram and Snapchat, tap out texts, or hole up in their rooms watching YouTube, they’re leaving enormous digital footprints that may offer clues to their psyches. Studies are underway to find out.
US factories expanded at slowest pace in more than 2 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories grew last month at the slowest pace in more than two years. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index dropped to 54.1 in December, down from 59.3 in November and lowest since November 2016.
No refuge for investors: Even “safe” funds fell in 2018
NEW YORK (AP) — The past year felt dismal for investors. What’s worse, the gloom was all-encompassing as mutual funds of all types sank. Even those funds that are typically steadier during turbulent markets struggled through what became the worst year since the Great Recession for many investors.
Sign-ups steady as health law case goes to appeals court
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says 8.4 million Americans have signed up for coverage this year under the Obama health law, even as supporters of the law appealed a court ruling declaring it unconstitutional. Thursday’s numbers underscore the unexpected staying power of “Obamacare,” which President Donald Trump failed to repeal after promising a better health plan. Also Thursday, Democratic-led states said they’ve appealed a ruling by a federal judge who recently declared the health law unconstitutional.
The S&P 500 lost 62.14 points Thursday, closing at 2,447.89. The Dow fell 660.02 points, or 2.8 percent, to 22,868.22. The Nasdaq retreated 202.43 points, or 3 percent, to 6,463.50. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 25.07 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,330.83.