Apple earnings; Trade talks; Capital One hack

Posted at 3:55 AM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 07:34:08-04

1. Apple earnings: Has Apple moved beyond its China problems?

That’s the big question from investors as the company prepares to report earnings after US markets close on Tuesday.

Apple warned investors in January that iPhone sales had been hurt by the slowdown in China’s economy and an ongoing trade war. But CEO Tim Cook noted signs of improvement last quarter, highlighting the positive response to lower prices in Asia. Shares are up 10% in the past year.

Wall Street analysts are divided about whether Apple can turn its iPhone fortunes around. Jun Zhang, China analyst at Rosenblatt Securities, has predicted that the iPhone XS will wind up being “one of the worst selling iPhone models in the history of Apple.”

The specter of fresh tariffs also looms. US President Donald Trump has said that if his administration goes forward with another round of duties on Chinese exports, he will refuse to exempt Apple from levies on parts for the new Mac Pro, which Apple reportedly plans to make in China.

Meanwhile, competitor Huawei is making gains. Its sales jumped to more than $58 billion in the first six months of this year, boosted by growth in the Chinese tech firm’s smartphone business.

2. Trade talks: Apple isn’t the only one keeping an eye on trade developments. Investors will also look for news out of Shanghai, where another round of negotiations between Washington and Beijing kicks off Tuesday.

It’s the first time that top officials will meet in person since Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to a truce at the G20 meeting last month. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are expected to speak with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and other senior officials.

3. Capital One hack: A hacker gained access to more than 100 million Capital One customers’ accounts and credit card applications earlier this year in one of the biggest data breaches of a bank ever.

The hacker, who was arrested Monday, is accused of breaking into a Capital One server and gaining access to 140,000 Social Security numbers, 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers, in addition to an undisclosed number of people’s names, addresses, credit scores, credit limits and balances, according to Capital One and the US Justice Department.

The company is still investigating the incident but said it is “unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual.”

Shares of the bank are down 4% in premarket trading.

4. Mixed markets: US stock futures point lower after a mixed start to the week.

The Dow is set to open down 70 points, or 0.3%. The Nasdaq is on track to shed 0.4%, while the S&P 500 is poised to dip 0.3%.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX dropped 1.3% in early trading, while France’s CAC 40 lost 0.9%.

Shares of pharmaceutical company Bayer fell nearly 4% after the company reported higher sales but a drop in profit of nearly 50%.

The company cited the “seasonality” of the crop science business it acquired when it purchased agrochemical maker Monsanto last year. It also blamed “ongoing trade disputes.”

Britain’s export-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.1% as the pound continued its fall. The currency nearly broke below $1.21 on fears of a disorderly Brexit at the end of October.

Stocks in Asia, meanwhile, traded mostly higher after the Bank of Japan kept its ultra-low interest rates unchanged. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.4%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1%.

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5. Coming this week:
Tuesday — Apple, Sprint, Mondelez, Under Armour and Procter & Gamble earnings.
Wednesday — Fed rate decision; GE, Occidental Petroleum, Molson Coors, and Qualcomm earnings
Thursday — Bank of England rate decision; General Motors, Dunkin’, Kraft Heinz and Verizon earnings
Friday — US jobs report Exxon, Chevron and Berkshire Hathaway earnings