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Futures dip on Apple concerns, trade worries

Reuters / Share:
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – US stock index futures dipped yesterday as Apple shares were hit by concerns of slowing demand for iPhones, while conflicting signals of a potential truce in the China-US trade dispute added to market jitters.

Shares of Apple Inc fell 1.5 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported the company has cut production orders in recent weeks for all three iPhone models launched in September.

The iPhone maker’s stock is down 11.6 percent this month following the company’s lower-than-expected sales forecast for the holiday quarter and a string of weak forecasts from several of its suppliers.

Micron Technology Inc dropped 2 percent after a report that Chinese authorities have alleged “massive evidence” of antitrust violations by the world’s top three memory chip makers, in the latest industrial spat that threatens to upset global trade relations.

At 7:18 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 88 points, or 0.35 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 10.25 points, or 0.37 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 27.75 points, or 0.4 percent.

Over the weekend, Asia-Pacific leaders failed to agree on a communique for the first time ever at a meeting in Papua New Guinea with US-China trade worries on the forefront.

US Vice President Mike Pence said there would be no end to US tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods until China changed its ways, dampening Friday’s trade optimism that was fueled by US President Donald Trump’s comments.

China’s JD.com Inc tumbled 5.9 percent after reporting third-quarter revenue that fell short of analysts’ estimates on sluggish sales in its core e-commerce business.

The Federal Reserve policymakers are still signaling rate increases ahead but also sounded more concerned about a potential global slowdown, leading markets to suspect the tightening cycle may not have much further to run.

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