he US corporate earnings tailwind just turned into a storm. Disappointing earnings from Dow heavyweights IBM, United Technologies and Verizon followed by a badly received report from Apple overnight has taken the fizz out the winning streak for US stocks. A lower open is expected on Wednesday.
Apple shares are set to open down over 6% at open after reporting fewer iPhone sales from the last quarter and forecasting just lower than expected revenue for its fourth quarter. Sales in China did double over the year and the iPhone-maker beat top and bottom lime estimates. At 15x earnings; Apple is not exactly priced to perfection so the strong reaction to the earnings does seem a little overdone.
The reason Apple shares fell so much may reflect the surprise at no singled-out data on the Apple Watch. The market interpretation is that the watch sales must be disappointing and that’s why they were listed alongside other peripheral Apple products and services. Apple CEO Tim Cook said referring to the Apple Watch “we did exceptionally well in any way you look at it,” so once the shock of no sales data is out of the way, there might be an opportunity to pick up the shares at a discount.
Of wider concern for US stock markets, is that CFO Luca Maestri did specifically reference the strong dollar as headwind to Apple’s international business. The idea that even the Apple profit-making machine is not immune to the strength of the dollar doesn’t bode well for other companies with significant foreign earnings.
Shares of Microsoft and Yahoo! are expected to open lower on Wednesday on badly-received earnings reports while earnings growth at GoPro should see shares open higher.
Boeing, Coca-Cola, SanDisk, Qualcomm, American Express and Texas Instruments all report on Wednesday.
Futures suggest the:
will open 6 points lower at 2,113 with the
expected to open 49 points lower at 17,870 and the
100 51 points lower at 4,623.
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