Wall St. lower as iPhone X concerns hit Apple shares


(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes came under pressure on Tuesday following a 2.5 percent drop in Apple’s shares on a report of weak iPhone X demand.

Apple (AAPL.O) will slash its sales forecast for its flagship phone in the current quarter to 30 million units, down from what it said was an initial plan of 50 million units, Taiwan’s Economic Daily reported, citing unidentified sources.

That, along with a few bearish brokerage calls on iPhone X demand, put its shares on track for their worst single-day percentage fall since Aug. 10.

Shares of companies that supply parts to Apple, including Broadcom (AVGO.O), Skyworks Solutions (SWKS.O), Finisar (FNSR.O) and Lumentum Holdings (LITE.O), fell between 2 percent and 5.5 percent.

The SP technology index .SPLRCT fell 0.7 percent, the biggest loser among the 11 major SP 500 sectors. The tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC fell 0.37 percent to 6,934.14 as high-flying names such as Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix declined.

“It looks to me that technology sector, already paying the lowest in taxes of around 24 percent, will not get as much of an impact as the financial sector, which pays the highest,” said Sandy Villere, portfolio manager of the Villere Balanced Fund

“Maybe that rotation has begun and the FANGS may see some profit-taking into next year.”

A long-promised Republican bill to cut corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent was ratified last week.

At 12:26 p.m. ET (1726 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 0.08 percent to 24,734.98 and the SP 500 .SPX slipped 0.09 percent to 2,680.88.

Most markets around the world, including parts of Europe and Asia, were shut on Tuesday. Trading volumes are also expected to be light in the holiday week.

Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent, helped by an explosion on a crude pipeline in Libya and voluntary OPEC-led supply cuts. [O/R]

Chevron (CVX.N), EOG Resources (EOG.N), Exxon (XOM.N) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N) rose between 0.8 percent and 2.5 percent.

Shares of department store operators Kohl’s (KSS.N), JC Penney (JCP.N) and Macy’s (M.N) got a boost after a report that retail sales in the holiday period rose at their best pace since 2011.

Sucampo Pharma (SCMP.O) surged 6 percent after Mallinckrodt (MNK.N) said it would acquire the drugmaker for $1.2 billion. Mallinckrodt shares rose 2 percent.

Bitcoin BTC=BTSP traded up more than 14 percent at $15,865, recovering from last week’s selloff that saw the cryptocurrency plunge about 30 percent.

Related stocks such as Riot Blockchain (RIOT.O), Overstock.com OSTK.N and Longfin Corp (LFIN.O) rose between 3 percent and 37 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,702 to 1,117. On the Nasdaq, 1,463 issues fell and 1,386 advanced.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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