Dow Jones Today: Apple Didn’t Save the Market

Technology bellwether Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) held its highly anticipated new products reveal today in California (plenty more on that later), and while the iPhone maker announced some interesting enhancements, markets barely moved on the news.

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Market participants seemingly glossed over a report in the South China Morning Post out earlier this morning saying that China is finally readying to buy more agricultural products from the U.S., a sign that scheduled trade talks next month could actually happen and do so in an amicable fashion.

Likely adding to weakness in stocks is ongoing momentum for value stocks, which will plague growth fare. Count me among those that need a little more convincing that value is “back,” but the factor has been topping growth since early August.

Today, the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.04% while the S&P 500 rose 0.03%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.28%. In late trading, 17 of the Dow’s 30 components were higher.

Apple Talk on the Dow

Lots to get into with Apple, so let’s get to it. As expected, iPhone enhancements (the new iPhone 11) were modest, revolving mostly around the camera and better battery life ahead of what is expected to be a more significant refresh of the popular smartphone ahead of the 5G rollout next year.

The lower end iPhone 11 will go for $699, $50 below the iPhone XR launched last year, but the next two higher-up models are priced inline with the versions launched in 2018. So Apple is making modest efforts to get more cost-conscious consumers into the iPhone, but not a major effort.

Speaking of costs, Apple said it’s gaming service will launch later this month and cost just $4.99 per month. That’s also the monthly fee on Apple TV+, which is big news because the $4.99 streaming monthly is well-below prior expectations and undercuts existing rivals in the streaming space.

Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Dow components Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), both of which offer streaming services or bundles at $13 per month, were lower by an average of 3% in late trading, the indicating the Apple + news pinched those stocks.

Oil Issues

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), the Dow’s two energy members, traded higher today, although oil retreated after President Donald Trump fired national security adviser John Bolton.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” said the president on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). “I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”

Interesting Dow Winner

In today’s unusual column, I submit to you Boeing (NYSE:BA). The largest member of the Dow gained 2.97% after it said August passenger jet deliveries slid 72% due in large part to the grounding of the 737 MAX plane.

Troubles with the 737 MAX are, at this point, baked into Boeing stock, and the shares showed some resilience today after Barclays said it’s likely to be early next year before the 737 MAX is back in the air, disappointing some on Wall Street that expected the jet to be operational again late this year.

Unusual Dow Loser

Shares of McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), one of the Dow’s best-performing stocks this year, slid nearly 4% on light news. McDonald’s said it’s acquiring Apprente, a company that develops voice technology that could help the fast food chain make its drive-thru lanes more efficient. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but earlier this year, McDonald’s spent $300 million on Dynamic Yield Ltd., a data collector that helps retailers enhance product pitches.

It’s unlikely McDonald’s is spending an alarming sum on Apprente, but the stock was decked today.

Bottom Line on Dow Jones Today

Recently, the recession chorus has grown a bit louder. Whether the forecasts are proven accurate remains to be seen, but investors can mitigate risk with already high-flying, which could a significant price target boost today from Citigroup.

“We expect spot gold prices to trade stronger for longer, possibly breaching US$2,000 an ounce and posting new cyclical highs at some point in the next year or two,” said the bank in a note out today.

Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities.

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