Apple has been told by Beijing's intellectual property regulator to stop sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the city. The two iPhone models infringe on a Chinese patent for exterior design held by Shenzhen Baili for its 100C smartphone, the Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau wrote in a statement on its website
After a brief haitus from the ongoing currency wars, China fired another salvo at The Fed tonight by devaluing the Yuan fix to 6.5693 - its weakest against the USD since March 2011. After eight days higher in a row for The USD Index, it seems PBOC has turned its currency liberalization plan off, stabilizing the broad Renminbi basket (which has been steadly devalued) and turning its attention to devaluing against the USD. Having unleashed turmoil in August (pre-Sept FOMC) and January (post Dec rate-hike), it appears the rising rate-hike probabilities jawboned by The Fed are decidedly disagreeable to "authoritative persons" in China.
Since the beginning of the year, the greenback has shown it's not almighty after all; and gold - the barbarous relic as some have called it - may be en vogue again? Where are we going from here and what are the implications for investors?
Sometimes it’s nice to get a sanity check and hear other investors and market professionals views on how the stock market has changed over the past few years. We hear more and more from various market participants that the market seems to be one big correlated beast that doesn’t trade on supply and demand anymore...
Shortly after the close today, Apple will report its much watched earnings which will be closely watched for several reasons. The biggest one is that since Q1 2014 AAPL has contributed 25% of the S&P’s 4.2% growth rate (excluding the EPS benefit of the company's massive buyback program). Furthermore, roughly 40% of the nearly 9% jump in Tech margins since 2009 is attributable to Apple alone. However, that was all in the past: this quarter Apple is actually forecast to subtract 0.7% from the S&P's bottom line.
Unfortunately, when central-planners "drag forward" future consumption today, you leave a "void" in the future that must be filled. That future "void" continues to expand each time activity is dragged forward until, inevitably, it can not be filled. This is currently being witnessed in the overall data trends as seen in the deterioration in corporate earnings and revenues. The only question is whether Central Banks can continue to support asset prices long enough for the economic cycle to catch up. Historically, such is a feat that has never been accomplished.
Don't expect any optimistic emails from Tim Cook to Jim Cramer for a long time, because according to a just released report in Japan's Nikkei, Apple will continue its reduced production of iPhones in the April-June period in light of sluggish sales, according to parts suppliers notified of the plan. The website reports that slow sales of the flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which debuted last autumn, have forced Apple to adjust inventories. It lowered production for the January-March quarter by about 30% from the year-earlier period. With sales still sluggish, the U.S. company has told parts suppliers in Japan and elsewhere that it will maintain the reduced output level in the current quarter.
The US Dollar Index is sitting at 94.62, just above a critical support zone at 93-94. Meanwhile, the Trade-Weighted Dollar Index has pulled back ~3.4% from its high on Jan20’16. It is hard to tell that long USD is a consensus trade because investors have lost their conviction.
Caution is called for because of Fed’s limited ability to reduce policy rate, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley says, Dudley comments in text of speech in Bridgeport, CT. “Although the downside risks have diminished since earlier in the year, I still judge the balance of risks to my inflation and growth outlooks to be tilted slightly to the downside”