Stocks Plummet as Apple Suffers Worst Day in Years

Weak factory data also contributed to the sell-off

Jan 3, 2019 at 4:34 PM
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Apple (AAPL) last night slashed its quarterly sales outlook, citing weak iPhone demand in China. The surprise announcement -- and AAPL's steepest one-day slide in nearly six years -- had a ripple effect on Wall Street, and fueled fears of a global economic slowdown; lackluster factory data out of the U.S. only exacerbated those concerns. Against this backdrop, the Dow fell more than 650 points, and the tech-rich Nasdaq also suffered a triple-digit drop.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 22,686.22) fell 660 points, or 2.8%. Verizon (VZ) was the only blue chip to end higher, eking out a 0.4% gain. AAPL paced the 29 losing Dow stocks with a 10% drop.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,447.89) finished with a loss of 62.1 points, or 2.5%. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,463.50) gave up 202.4 points, or 3%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 25.45) gained 2.2 points, or 9.6%.

Closing Indexes Summary Jan 3

NYSE and Nasdaq Jan 3

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. Although the federal government remains partially shut down, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives today, with California's Nancy Pelosi re-elected speaker. It is the first time since President Donald Trump took office that the GOP doesn't have a majority in both chambers of Congress.  (MarketWatch)
  2. The State Department warned U.S. citizens to "exercise increased caution" when traveling to China, citing "arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals." The State said China has been using "exit bans coercively," and those under bans have been "harassed and threatened." (USA Today)
  3. Apple's sales guidance sparked a run on STMicroelectronics options.
  4. Best Buy also got hit by the AAPL shocker.
  5. Take profits on this pharma stock.

There are no earnings to report.

Unusual Options Activity January 3

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Traders Seek Safety in Gold

Oil prices finished a seesaw session higher, on reports that December oil production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell by the most in nearly two years. Crude for February delivery gained 55 cents, or 1.2%, to finish at $47.09 per barrel.

As stocks sank, traders sought safety in gold. February-dated gold futures added $10.70, or 0.8%, to end at $1,294.80 an ounce -- their highest since mid-June.


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