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
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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.


In airline-business rarity, Air France picks a woman CEO

In this file photo taken on March 26, 2018, Air France's Executive Vice President Customer Division Anne Rigail speaks during a press conference to announce the re-opening of direct flight between Paris and Nairobi, in Nairobi on March 26, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 December 2018
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In airline-business rarity, Air France picks a woman CEO

  • As of June, there were just 18 women holding down jobs of CEO, president or managing director at airlines around the world, according to the Center for Aviation, an Australia-based airline industry research group

PARIS: When the leaders of global airlines posed for a photo in June, there were 25 men in dark suits and a lone woman in the last seat on the far right.
That could be changing, but very slowly.
Air France announced Wednesday that Anne Rigail will take over as CEO next week. Rigail, a 27-year company veteran and currently an executive vice president, will be the first woman to lead the French carrier, which was formed in 1933. Parent company Air France-KLM Group will continue to be led by a man, however.
Few women have run large airlines. Carolyn McCall was CEO of British low-cost carrier EasyJet for seven years until leaving this year to run British broadcaster ITV. Christine Ourmieres-Widener, the woman in the June photo of CEOs, leads Flybe, a European regional airline that has fewer than 100 planes.
In the United States, Air Wisconsin, a regional airline that operates United Express flights, is led by CEO Christine Deister, and another regional, Cape Air, has a female president, Linda Markham.
But no major US carrier has ever had a female CEO, and only a few women hold other top jobs. In May, JetBlue Airways named Joanna Geraghty president and chief operating officer — the No. 2 job. Tammy Romo has been chief financial officer at Southwest Airlines since 2012, succeeding another woman. Elize Eberwein is an executive vice president at American Airlines.
As of June, there were just 18 women holding down jobs of CEO, president or managing director at airlines around the world, according to the Center for Aviation, an Australia-based airline industry research group. That is unchanged from a 2010 survey.
Women in the industry have said airlines need to do more to recruit and promote women, provide better mentoring, and encourage those who take maternity leave to return to their careers.
The International Air Transport Association — that’s the group whose leaders were pictured in June — has declared gender equality a priority. The group reported in March that only 3 percent of aviation CEOs are women, compared with 12 percent in other industries.
It didn’t help, however, that the association’s new president, Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, suggested that women aren’t up to the job of running an airline.
“Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position,” he said at a news conference. He later apologized.
As the new CEO at Air France, Rigail will certainly have her challenges. The airline faces contentious wage negotiations with pilots and flight attendants and has been hit by a series of damaging strikes. The last CEO quit after union employees rejected his offer of small pay raises for the next four years.
In a statement issued by Air France, Rigail said she is extremely honored by the promotion. Benjamin Smith, the CEO of parent Air France-KLM Group, said Rigail has always paid special attention to employees, and he expressed confidence that the airline can meet its challenges.