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Stocks fall as Apple warning raises China virus concerns

SeattlePI.com Tuesday, 18 February 2020
U.S. stocks fell inafternoon trading Tuesday after technology giant Apple became the most well-known company to warn of a financial hit from the virus outbreak in China.

The maker of iPhones said revenue will fall short of previous forecasts in the fiscal second quarter because production has been curtailed and consumer demand for iPhones has slowed in China. Apple's stores there are are either closed or operating on reduced hours.

Technology stocksaccounted for a big slice of the selling. Apple shed 2.7%.Somechipmakers, which also rely heavily on China for sales and supplies, fell. Intel shed 1.7%.

Banks and energy stocks also fell. HSBC said it will cut 35,000 jobs and shed $100 billion in assets. Its shares dropped 5.6%. Wells Fargo slid 2.9% and Schlumberger dropped 3.3%.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.55% from 1.58% late Friday. Crude oil prices fell 0.5%.

Communication services stocks and utilities held up better than most of the market. Dish Network climbed 2.8% and Xcel Energy rose 1.6%.

KEEPING SCORE:The S&P 500 index fell 0.4% as of 1:41 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 212 points, or 0.7%, to 29,185. The Nasdaq dropped 0.2%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 0.4%. European and Asian markets fell.

CHINA OUTBREAK: The viral outbreak that began in China has now infected more than 73,000 people and continues to hurt businesses worldwide. The majority of the cases and deaths remain centered in China.

Businesses continue to feel the economic impact from the virus. The Beijing auto show, the industry's biggest global event of the year, is being postponed indefinitely from its April date.

Apple is the latest company to warn investors that the virus will hurt its financial...

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