The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 600 points on Thursday as shares of iPhone maker Apple declined 9 percent in the early trading session.
“While it’s likely a combination of both macro and micro, the contribution of the former means that maneuvering through the upcoming earnings season will be like swimming in shark invested waters,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, about what prompted Apple’s guidance cut. “That said, I’d argue it’s more of the latter.”
Shares of Apple fell over 7 percent on Wednesday after trading was halted prior to the announcement. In a letter to investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook cited lower-than-expected iPhone revenue and China’s weakening economy as major headwinds for the tech giant.
Apple lowered its Q1 revenue guidance to $84 billion–down from the previous projection of $89 to $93 billion.
“If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100 percent from iPhone and it’s primarily in greater China,” Cook told CNBC in an interview Wednesday. “It’s clear that the economy began to slow there in the second half and I believe the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy.”
“We had sort of a collection of items going on. Some that are macroeconomic and some that are Apple specific,” added Cook. “And we’re not going to sit around waiting for the macro to change. I hope that it does and I’m actually optimistic, but we are going to focus really deeply on the things we can control.”
Two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with the largest capital Apple allocations–Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEArca: XLK) and Vanguard Information Technology ETF (NYSEArca: VGT) both fell over 4 percent.
Downgrades Abound for Apple
It’s been a case of kick Apple shares while they’re down as analyst downgrades hurt the stock late last year. Guggenheim Partners lowered its rating on the tech giant from “buy” to “neutral,” citing that a 5 percent decline in iPhone units will occur in 2019.
Guggenheim forecasted that a subsequent increase in prices would do little in terms of offsetting a decline in sales. In addition, the firm posited that overall demand for iPhones globally would wane.