World markets sold off Tuesday after Apple warned that the coronavirus will eat into its projected revenues and will fall short of guidance. The news underlined continuing concerns about the outbreak as new cases continue to arise and investors worry how it will effect the bottom line this quarter of China-related companies. Chinese authorities claim that new cases are declining, but outside experts aren’t so sure.
Tuesday, the S&P and Dow fell more than half-a-percent, while the Nasdaq and TSX barely closed positive. Crude oil inched up, but gold soared over 1% to break $1,600/ounce. (Stockchase will examine gold and precious metals stocks in the weeks to come.) Overnight, the Hang Seng and Nikei plunged 1.5% and European indices sold off, though the Shanghai index held steady.
Notable stocks included Walmart, which reported weaker-than-expected Q4 earnings and whipsawed in Tuesday trading, though it managed to close up 1.48%. HSBC plunged 5.5% after announcing a huge profit miss ($13 billion vs. expected $20 billion) and 35,000 layoffs worldwide. Most of the bank’s assets lie in Asia, and HSBC confirmed that the coronavirus has impacted their business. Closer to home, Bombardier nosedived nearly 10% after Alstom SA bought BBD’s rail division. Meanwhile, the indigenous blockade continues across Canada, choking the distribution of goods and threatening temporary layoffs.