U.S. stock dipped Tuesday after Apple warned it wouldn’t hit sales forecasts for the current quarter as the deadly coronavirus is impeding production and sales in China. Apple has been trading down about 2.3% for most of the session and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 200 points.
It’s not a massive selloff but underscores the uncertainty of markets, stocks and a wide range of industries. Infections and casualties continue to rise, in China mostly but with sporadic cases in other countries too, and there’s no sign or sense of how or when the illness will be contained. Companies from cruise line Carnival to Coca-Cola , Estee Lauder, Expedia, Hasbro, Capri Holdings – owner of Jimmy Choo and Versace – and many others have warned of an actual or potential hit from the virus.
Apple’s sounded the alarm Monday afternoon when it acknowledged to investors that it wasn’t able to stand by revenue estimate – a range – it made only three weeks ago for the current quarter ending in March. It said production had stalled and was ramping more slowly than anticipated outside of the virus’ center, Hubei province, meaning there will likely be a shortage of iPhones on shelves around the world. In addition, Apple’s retail stores in China are mostly closed and no one is really out shopping anyway in one of the company’s biggest markets.