Monday, April 06, 2020

Stocks slump on Apple's warning; Treasuries rally

Feb 19. 2020
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By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Claire Ballentine · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS 

Stocks slumped after Apple's warning that sales will miss forecasts spooked investors who had hoped for a limited economic impact from the deadly coronavirus that originated in China. Treasuries rose and the dollar strengthened.

The S&P 500 Index fell from a record as the iPhone maker warned of production and demand disruptions due to the epidemic, while gains for Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook provided a slight lift to the Nasdaq 100. Apple suppliers including Dialog Semiconductor and AMS helped drag down European stocks. HSBC tumbled the most since 2009 after it said it will slash jobs in a restructuring, while also flagging risks from the virus.

Government bonds climbed, while the euro weakened after a German investor-confidence index plunged. Gold rallied.

Investors are still trying to judge the corporate and economic impact from the coronavirus, even as the growth rate of cases in China's Hubei province - the epicenter of the disease - continues to stabilize. It's a turnaround from Monday, when sentiment was lifted by Chinese policymakers' moves to support companies hit by the prolonged shutdown of large parts of the country. BHP Group said commodity prices will take a hit if the fallout extends beyond the end of next month.

"The market has largely ignored what's going on with the coronavirus in terms of what impact it might have, but I'm not sure that's entirely appropriate," said Jeff Mills, chief investment officer at Bryn Mawr Trust. "It's likely to be temporary and the economy may bounce back, but this is different than what we saw with SARS. China is a much larger more entwined piece of the global economy."

Elsewhere, equity benchmarks in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong saw declines of over 1%. The Australian dollar weakened after the Reserve Bank of Australia said it reviewed the case for a further rate cut at its last meeting, but didn't go ahead. Emerging-market stocks and currencies fell.

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Here are some key events coming up:

- Earnings season rolls on, with results from Deere & Co. set for Friday.

- Minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting publish Wednesday.

- Indonesia is expected to cut interest rates Thursday, following emerging-market peers that have already moved.

- Twenty finance ministers and central bank chiefs are scheduled to meet Friday and Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and are expected to discuss efforts to support growth amid the coronavirus threat.

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These are the main moves in markets:


- The S&P 500 Index declined 0.3% at the close of trading in New York; the Nasdaq 100 added 0.1%.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4%.

- The MSCI Emerging Markets Index decreased 1.2%.


- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.2%.

- The euro decreased 0.4%, to $1.0794.

- The British pound slipped 0.1%, to $1.3.

- The Japanese yen was little changed at 109.86 per dollar.


- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points, to 1.55%.

- Germany's 10-year yield fell one basis point, to -0.41%.

- Britain's 10-year yield decreased three basis points, to 0.61%.


- West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $52.05 a barrel.

- Gold strengthened 1.4%, to $1,602.96 an ounce.

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