Business

Apple earnings; LVMH reports; Huawei charged

Posted January 29, 2019 5:27 a.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2019 5:52 a.m. EST

— 1. Huawei charged: The United States has filed criminal charges against Huawei, escalating its fight against the Chinese tech giant and potentially complicating trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

The Justice Department unsealed two cases against Huawei. One indictment accuses Huawei of trying to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile, and of promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information on competitors. The second claims the company worked to skirt US sanctions on Iran.

Prosecutors also revealed formal charges against Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer. Meng was arrested in Canada in December, and the United States is looking to extradite her.

China lashed out in response, accusing the United States of trying to "kill" Chinese businesses.

"The United States has deployed its state power to smear and crack down on targeted Chinese companies in an attempt to kill their normal and legal business operations," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

The US charges against Huawei, and Beijing's angry response, come just days before the two governments are due to hold a new round of talks aimed at trying to defuse their damaging trade war.

2. Apple and China: Apple will release earnings results after the bell.

The report comes less than a month after the company issued a rare warning, saying it would miss its revenue target for the final quarter of 2018 because of weak iPhone sales. It blamed an economic slowdown in China.

The announcement shook investors, reigniting fears that even corporate giants may be weighed down by broader challenges in the global economy.

Analysts expect Apple to report earnings per share of $4.17 on revenue of $84 billion, in line with the company's updated sales forecast, but well below the $88.3 billion it posted in the same quarter a year ago.

Investors will also be scrutinizing Apple's forecast for the upcoming March quarter for signs of pain ahead.

Apple is not the only Western company feeling the pain in China.

Nvidia stock plunged 14% on Monday the tech firm slashed its fourth-quarter sales guidance on deteriorating growth, especially in China.

Caterpillar posted its biggest earnings miss in a decade on Monday. It too blamed poor results on "lower demand" in China.

European luxury conglomerate LVMH will report earnings after the closing bell in Paris. It's another company that investors will be watching closely for signs of weakening Chinese demand.

3. Global market overview: US stock futures were lower. European markets opened mixed, following a similar trend in Asia.

The Dow and the S&P 500 both closed down 0.8% on Monday. The Nasdaq was down 1.1%.

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4. Earnings and economics: 3M, Allergan, Harley-Davidson, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer, Philips, Verizon and Xerox plan to release earnings before the open.

Advanced Micro and eBay will release earnings after the close.

Shares in Norwegian Air dropped 14% after the carrier announced it will issue 3 billion Norwegian crowns ($353 million) worth of shares to "strengthen its balance sheet."

The discount airline said its preliminary results showed a loss of 3.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($447 billion) in 2018.

Pacific Gas and Electric filed for bankruptcy protection after coming under pressure from billions of dollars in claims tied to deadly wildfires in California.

5. Brexit votes: The UK parliament will vote on a series of amendments to the divorce deal Prime Minister Theresa May struck with the European Union.

The lawmakers rejected the deal earlier this month, increasing the chances of the country crashing out of the union without a deal or being forced to postpone its exit beyond the planned date of March 29.

Businesses are worried about the prospect of a disorderly Brexit. On Monday, fast food giants McDonald's and KFC warned they may not be able to guarantee the "choice, quality and durability" of food in such a scenario.

6. Coming this week:Tuesday — Consumer confidence report; Case-Schiller home price index; Apple, Verizon and Harley-Davidson earningsWednesday — Fed rate decision; AT&T, McDonald's, Boeing, Microsoft, Facebook and Tesla report earningsThursday — Amazon, GE and UPS report earningsFriday — Jobs report, ISM manufacturing index, Consumer sentiment report; Exxon and Chevron report earnings