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.


A Jordan startup delivers eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning

Updated 05 December 2019

A Jordan startup delivers eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning

  • Products used by WashyWash are non-carcinogenic and environmentally neutral
  • Amman-based laundry service aims to relocate to a larger facility in mid-2020

AMMAN: A persistent sinus problem prompted a Jordanian entrepreneur to launch an eco-friendly dry-cleaning service that could help end the widespread use of a dangerous chemical.

“Dry cleaning” is somewhat of a misnomer because it is not really dry. It is true that no water is involved in the process, but the main cleaning agent is perchloroethylene (PERC), a chemical that experts consider likely to cause cancer, as well as brain and nervous system damage.

Kamel Almani, 33, knew little of these dangers when he began suffering from sinus irritation while working as regional sales director at Eon Aligner, a medical equipment startup he co-founded.

The problem would disappear when he went on vacation, so he assumed it was stress related.

However, when Mazen Darwish, a chemical engineer, revealed he wanted to start an eco-laundry and warned about toxic chemicals used in conventional dry cleaning, Almani had an epiphany.

“He began to tell me how PERC affects the respiratory system, and I suddenly realized that it was the suits I wore for work — and which I would get dry cleaned — that were the cause of my sinus problems,” said Almani, co-founder of Amman-based WashyWash.

“That was the eureka moment. We immediately wanted to launch the business.”

WashyWash began operations in early 2018 with five staff, including the three co-founders: Almani, Darwish and Kayed Qunibi. The business now has 19 employees and became cash flow-positive in July this year.

“We’re very happy to achieve that in under two years,” Almani said.

The service uses EcoClean products that are certified as toxin-free, are biodegradable and cause no air, water or soil pollution.

Customers place orders through an app built in-house by the company’s technology team.

WashyWash collects customers’ dirty clothes, and cleans, irons and returns them. Services range from the standard wash-and-fold to specialized dry cleaning for garments and cleaning of carpets, curtains, duvets and leather goods.

“For wet cleaning, we use environmentally friendly detergents that are biodegradable, so the wastewater doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals,” Almani said.

For dry cleaning, WashyWash uses a modified hydrocarbon manufactured by Germany’s Seitz, whose product is non-carcinogenic and environmentally neutral.

A specialized company collects the waste and disposes of it safely.

The company has big ambitions, planning to expand its domestic operations and go international. Its Amman site can process about 1,000 items daily, but WashyWash will relocate to larger premises in mid-2020, which should treble its capacity.

“We’ve built a front-end app, a back-end system and a driver app along with a full facility management system. We plan to franchise that and have received interest from many countries,” Almani said.

“People visiting Amman used our service, loved it, and wanted an opportunity to launch in their countries.”

WashyWash has received financial backing from angel investors and is targeting major European cities initially.

“An eco-friendly, on-demand dry-cleaning app isn’t available worldwide, so good markets might be London, Paris or Frankfurt,” Almani said.

 

• The Middle East Exchange is one of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiatives that was launched to reflect the vision of the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai in the field of humanitarian
and global development, to explore the possibility of changing the status of the Arab region. The initiative offers the press a series of articles on issues affecting Arab societies.