Not anxious about Apple stock; company should build in U.S.

Mobile phones

Indeed, to illustrate that risk playing out, Apple announced on January 2 that it wouldn't be meeting its original financial guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, reducing its revenue guidance to $84 billion from a prior projection of between $89 billion and $93 billion.

The warning, which came after trading in NY closed on Wednesday, looked likely to rattle already-volatile stock markets when they reopen on Thursday - with stock index futures pointing to Wall Street falls.

Any new product offering from Apple is unlikely to be revealed before September, when the company traditionally unveils its new iPhones.

Apple cut its revenue outlook for the latest quarter on Wednesday, citing steeper-than-expected "economic deceleration" in China and emerging markets. "Therefore, Apple's rare profit warning is a red flag for market watchers".

As worries have mounted in recent months, top financial regulators have held meetings with economists at banks and brokerages to instruct them to take into account the interests of the Communist Party when they publish economic analyses - an apparent euphemism for holding back alarming language, Bloomberg reported in November.

Apple's decisions over the coming months around pricing, future hardware redesigns, timing of 5G smartphones, and driving its core services business will have implications for years to come as Cupertino now faces the biggest fear among bulls which is an installed base (we estimate roughly 750 million active iPhones worldwide) that could stall out and not grow over the coming years and in a nightmare scenario decline. Companies such as General Motors, Caterpillar and Daimler have all said recently that trade tensions, combined with slower growth in China, were damaging their businesses.

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After multinational companies relied heavily on China for years for growth, warning signs across different industries are beginning to crop up suggesting there are broad, ominous trends gathering force in the world's second largest economy.

"The knee-jerk reaction is that it will influence trading", said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors.

In a letter to shareholders Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said iPhone demand is waning in China and would hurt revenue for the October-December quarter.

A key White House adviser said in response that the ongoing tensions were going to mean that a "heck of a lot" of United States firms with sales in China - not just Apple (Swiss: AAPL-EUR.SW - news) - would see their earnings downgraded until the two countries reach a deal. That's NZ$10 billion less than analysts expected. Many global indexes posted their worst year in a decade amid concerns about the global economy and the prospect of further US interest rate increases.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF, ticker SPY, fell 0.9 per cent in after-hours trading and the Invesco QQQ Trust, ticker QQQ, tracking the Nasdaq 100 Index lost about 1.8 per cent. The Dow slid 2.8 percent to 22,868.22. Experts say many Chinese consumers are likely to reject Apple's iPhone price increases and instead buy less costly models from competitors. Japanese markets have tumbled as they reopened after the New Year holidays, while other Asian indexes are mixed after... The stock market opened the following day with Apple down $57 billion in market value.

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