Wall Street set to open lower on Apple concerns, trade uncertainties


(Reuters) – Wall Street was set to open lower on Monday as shares of Apple and its suppliers were hit by ongoing concerns of slowing demand for iPhones, while conflicting signals of a potential truce in the China-U.S. trade dispute added to market jitters.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) fell 1.8 percent in premarket trading 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.

Shares of Apple suppliers Skyworks Solutions Inc (SWKS.O) and Lumentum Holdings Inc (LITE.O) were also down.

Micron Technology Inc (MU.O) fell 1.8 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 8:43 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 58 points, or 0.23 percent. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 7.5 points, or 0.27 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 31 points, or 0.45 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 U.S.-China trade worries on the forefront.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday the United States will not back down from its trade dispute with China, and might even double its tariffs, unless Beijing bows to U.S. demands, dampening Friday’s trade optimism that was fueled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments.

“Markets are a little bit cautious with regard to the comments that Pence made over the weekend and the fact that they couldn’t get a communique out of APEC meeting,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

China’s JD.com Inc (JD.O) slipped 3 percent after reporting third-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates on sluggish sales in its core e-commerce business.

Shares of Cimarex Energy Co (XEC.N) fell 6.2 percent after the oil and gas producer agreed to acquire smaller rival Resolute Energy Corp (REN.N) for $1.6 billion, including debt. Resolute Energy shares jumped 8.2 percent.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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