Apple hits $1 trillion mark, turns Nasdaq positive

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a selfie with a customer at the Apple Store in Chicago, Illinois. (Reuters)
Updated 02 August 2018

Apple hits $1 trillion mark, turns Nasdaq positive

  • Apple hits record high of $207.05 – crowning decade-long rise fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone
  • Apple led rebound in tech stocks helping Wall Street pare losses and turning Nasdaq positive

NEW YORK: Apple became the first US company to top $1 trillion in market value on Thursday, leading a rebound in technology stocks that helped Wall Street pare losses and turned the Nasdaq positive.
Market sentiment was also lifted by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s comment, who said the tariffs that United States is threatening to impose on Chinese goods would not be disastrous for the Asian nation.
“It’s not something that’s going to be cataclysmic,” he said in an interview with Fox Business Network, explaining that a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of goods would equal to less than 1 percent of China’s economy.
Technology stocks, which were trading lower earlier in the session, rose 0.4 percent.
Apple hit a record high of $207.05, crowning a decade-long rise fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications.
“There’s a dichotomy on whether the tech run is going to continue,” said Cliff Hodge, director of investments for Cornerstone Wealth in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“The tariffs are not enough to derail the US economy that is firing on all cylinders.”
The trade-sensitive industrial sector fell 0.38 percent. Caterpillar, Boeing and 3M fell more than 1 percent and weighed on the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Financials fell 0.5 percent, the biggest drag on the S&P 500, as 10-year US Treasury yields eased.
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but characterized the economy as strong, keeping the central bank on track to increase borrowing costs in September.
At 11:23 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 120.33 points, or 0.47 percent, at 25,213.49, the S&P 500 was down 1.84 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,811.52 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 23.95 points, or 0.31 percent, at 7,731.24.
The materials group fell 1.2 percent as prices of copper and other base metals slipped. Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower.
Tesla jumped 9.5 percent after the electric car maker convinced investors that it was able to produce positive cash flow and turn a profit.
DowDuPont fell 3.1 percent after the chemical producer said it expects higher raw material costs to hit all its units for the rest of the year.
Shares of TripAdviser and Cognizant slipped 14.4 percent and 6.8 percent after their earnings failed to impress investors.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 59 new highs and 65 new lows.


Economists fear a US recession in 2021

Updated 19 August 2019

Economists fear a US recession in 2021

  • Trump’s higher budget deficits ‘might dampen the economy’

WASHINGTON: A number of US business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the US by the end of 2021.

Thirty-four percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. 

That’s up from 25 percent in a survey taken in February. Only 2 percent of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, while 38 percent predict that it will occur in 2020.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession.” A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key US trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada. 

Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But US trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the US and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60 percent of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the US buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a US recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of US-China trade negotiations. Only 5 percent predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64 percent suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25 percent expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1. That was before the White House announced 10 percent tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. US retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.