Nasdaq Takes a Surprising Sharp Turn Lower as Markets Turn Away From Apple Rally

Apple Inc.  (AAPL)  made a swing higher on Wednesday, Aug. 2, hitting an all-time high, but markets paid little attention. A brief rally earlier in the day quickly reversed to pull the Nasdaq sharply lower.

The Nasdaq slid 0.4% and the S&P 500 fell 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.18%, hovering around its 22,000 milestone achieved earlier in the day. The blue-chip index remained on track to close at a record for its sixth session in a row. 

Apple gained more than 5% after reaching an all-time intraday high of $159.75 earlier in the session. The world’s largest company beat earnings forecasts and issued an outlook that seemed to allay worries over potential iPhone 8 delays. Apple said it expects revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in September, to be about $49 billion to $52 billion, a figure that tops analysts’ forecasts and suggests that rumors of production and technical delays linked to the 10th anniversary iPhone release later this year were unfounded.

Watch: Apple Shakes Off Concerns About Its Brand New iPhone

For its fiscal third quarter, the world’s biggest tech company posted earnings of $1.67 a share on revenue of $45.41 billion. Apple said all-time iPhone sales topped the 1.2 billion mark during the three months ended in June after 41.03 million units were shipped during the quarter, a 1.6% increase from the same period last year.

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“Apple is projecting another monster quarter over the next three months, and if management can deliver again, we expect the stock to continue its climb past its current highs,” said Jim Cramer and the AAP team. 

The rest of the tech sector was lower, though. Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , Facebook Inc. (FB) , Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA)  and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) moved lower. The sector has been prone to swift selloffs since a major decline on June 9.

Investor appetite for major tech stocks has soured after a steep run-up in the first few months of the year. the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) gained nearly 19% from the beginning of the year through to June 8, the day before the initial selloff, far outpacing the S&P 500’s almost 9% gain. 

Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) weighed on the materials sector following a disappointing first half of the year. The mining company earned underlying profit of $3.94 billion over the first half of the year, lower than an analyst target of $4.26 billion. Revenue surged nearly 25% to $19.32 billion. 

Other materials stocks in the red included BHP Billiton Ltd. ( BHP) , Mosaic Co. ( MOS) , Cabot Corp. ( CBT)  and LyondellBasell Industries NV ( LYB) . The Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF ( XLB) decreased 0.1%. 


Time Warner Inc. (TWX)  reported a better-than-expected second quarter thanks to the box-office success of Wonder Woman. The media company earned $1.34 a share, up from $1.20 a share a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of $1.33 a share beat estimates of $1.19. Revenue of $7.33 billion exceeded consensus of $7.3 billion. 

Mondelez International Inc. (MDLZ)   topped profit estimates over its recent quarter and announced a dividend hike. Adjusted earnings of 48 cents a share exceeded estimates by 2 cents, though revenue of $5.99 billion came in slightly short of consensus of $6 billion. The company increased its dividend by 16% to 22 cents.

Mondelez also announced that CEO Irene Rosenfeld would step down with Dirk Van de Put assuming the position. Rosenfeld will continue as chairman until March 31, 2018.  

Garmin Ltd. (GRMN)  moved higher by 4% on Wednesday after a solid second quarter. The GPS navigation and wireless device maker posted adjusted quarterly earnings of 88 cents per share, 7 cents above analysts’ expectations. Revenue came in at $817 million, $9.17 million more than Wall Street had forecast. Garmin got a boost from its fitness products, which helped to offset a not so strong vehicle navigation segment.

Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP)  reported a rise in net profit, though fell short of consensus. Second-quarter profit increased to $1.49 a share from 80 cents a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of $1.66 a share came in below estimates of $2.12. Revenue of $3.09 billion missed expectations of $3.1 billion. Worldwide brand volume increased 2.3%. 

The private sector added 178,000 jobs in July, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report which tracks private payrolls data. Economists were expecting the U.S. to have added 190,000 private payrolls jobs in July.

As for the Labor Department’s official number on Friday, analysts anticipate that a summer lull could pull the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy to below 200,000 for the third time this year. Economists surveyed by FactSet anticipate 180,500 jobs to have been added to the U.S. economy in July, still a solid pace though slower than the rate of 222,000 in June.

On the plus side, the unemployment rate is expected to fall by 10 basis points to 4.3%. Hourly earnings are expected to have increased 0.3% month on month, picking up from a 0.2% growth rate in June. Year over year, hourly earnings growth is targeted to have held at 2.5%.

Crude oil prices were in flux even after a decline in weekly inventories data. The Energy Information Administration reported a decline in crude supplies of 1.5 million barrels in the past week. Distillate and gasoline stockpiles also fell. The American Petroleum Institute reported an increase of 1.8 million barrels in the past week.  

West Texas Intermediate crude was flat at $49.13 a barrel on Wednesday. 

Updated 11:16 a.m. ET, Wednesday, Aug. 2.

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