|Apple hits $1 trillion, tough trade talk continues out of Washington, and Asia’s traders look to close out a tumultuous week on a high. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.|
Apple Hits $1 Trillion
Apple Inc. became the first U.S.-based company with a market value of $1 trillion, four decades after it was co-founded by Steve Jobs in a Silicon Valley garage. Shares of the consumer-technology giant rose 2.9 percent to close at $207.39 in New York on Thursday, giving it a market capitalization of $1.002 trillion. PetroChina Co. briefly crossed that valuation in late 2007 but slumped quickly as oil prices collapsed in the financial crisis. Other tech giants weren’t far behind Apple yesterday, with valuations of Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp. topping $800 billion each. Here’s how Apple got there.
Tech Stocks Lead Rebound
Equity futures signaled gains for Japan, China and Hong Kong. Tech companies lifted U.S. stocksas the gains in Apple overshadowed broader concerns on trade tensions. Exporters such as Boeing Co., 3M Co. and DowDuPont Inc. weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after Donald Trump asked his trade representative to consider hiking tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. European equities tracked earlier declines in China spurred by renewed trade concerns. The dollar strengthened, while the pound fell as the Bank of England’s hawkish rhetoric failed to convince investors of a brighter economic outlook. Turkey’s lira fell to a record as the U.S. imposed sanctions on its NATO ally over the house arrest of an American pastor.
SEC Steps Up Crypto Scrutiny
Wall Street’s main regulator is boosting its scrutiny of brokerages that deal in cryptocurrencies, according to two people familiar with the matter, the latest sign that authorities want to know more about a burgeoning market that they fear might be full of misconduct. Brokerages have been peppered in recent weeks with questions from Securities and Exchange Commission examiners about their business practices and how they deal with clients, according to one of the people, who requested anonymity to discuss the review. Among other things, the SEC is seeking specific information about fees generated from trading, financing and initial coin offerings. The agency is also gathering data on investment advisers’ involvement, another person said.
Ross Stands Tough on Trade
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross signaled there’s more pain ahead unless China changes its economic system, as the Asian nation repeated it will never surrender to U.S. trade threats. “We have to create a situation where it’s more painful for them to continue their bad practices than it is to reform,” Ross said in an interview on Fox Business Network on Thursday. The U.S. will keep turning up the pressure on China for as long as the country refuses to level the economic playing field, said Ross. “The reason for the tariffs to begin with was to try and convince the Chinese to modify their behavior. Instead they have been retaliating. So the president now feels that it’s potentially time to put more pressure on, in order to modify their behavior,” he said.
Asia’s traders have already braced for the steepest weekly slide in the MSCI Asia Pacific index since March, the worst Chinese equity collapse in six months and the biggest rout in JGB futures since September. They’ll close out a tumultuous week with Australia retail sales, Toyota earnings and Malaysia trade data. In the U.S., the July jobs report will steal the spotlight, as well as continued news flow on trade from Washington.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- Google’s push into China spurred fury among employees.
- Here’s why hedge fund returns are at risk.
- This woman has just become the youngest member of Goldman’s management committee.
- Just how big is $1 trillion anyway?
- It costs a lot to keep Mark Zuckerberg safe.
- Trump said he received a new letter from Kim Jong Un.
And finally, here’s what Cormac’s interested in this morning
Investor attention has been firmly on the spike in the Japanese 10-year government bond yield this week, but the more important maturity to watch is likely its 30-year counterpart. A yield of at least 1 percent on the 30-year JGB is seen as the level that will tempt Japanese investors to shift some of the $2.4 trillion of overseas debt they hold back home. The Bank of Japan’s new guidance, tolerating a 10-year yield of as high as 0.2 percent, has seen that benchmark jump to 0.13 percent as of lunchtime Thursday in Tokyo. Thirty-year yields have risen too, to about 0.84 percent.
Market participants expect yields to continue to rise. Estimates based on typical spreads from the 10-year to the 30-year bond from MassMutual Life Insurance and Daiwa SB Investments indicate the yield on the long-end may touch 0.95 percent to 1 percent. Should that happen, bond markets around the world would likely sell off, as traders race to reprice positions ahead of any outflows from Japanese investors looking to take their money home. The 10-year yield is the target for the BOJ in its yield curve control program — global investors should hope it has an eye on its longer dated bonds too.
Cormac Mullen is a cross-asset reporter and editor for Bloomberg.