Markets Right Now: Asian shares mixed as Japan tumbles

Apple shares plunge nearly 10% behind revenue warning

Apple has warned investors that its revenue over the crucial festive season will be lower than expected, blaming the US-China trade war for disappointing iPhone sales.

President Donald Trump is chiming in on Apple's sales warning earlier this week, which led the company's stock to drop. In late December, the promotional program for the new models went live in China, adding one major perk: users in China cannot only trade in their old iPhones, but also Android phones made by Apple's major competitors in China, including Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi. Sales in China, which The Wall Street Journal says account for nearly 20 percent of global sales, have dropped amid President Donald Trump's trade war with Beijing.

China-based smartphone maker Huawei - a company that could be on track to surpass Apple in terms of overall smartphone unit shipments in 2019 - is gaining traction with its high-end P-series and Mate-series devices.

The sell-off also affected luxury brands including UK-based Burberry - down 6% - as Apple said China's economic woes and trade war with the United States was weighing on consumers in the world's second biggest economy. "While we don't expect zero sales to occur we believe investors will value this framework and the scenario analysis in this report". Apple shares are down 9.27% in midday trading on Wednesday at $143.28. Amid Apple's problems in China, the Dow fell more than 300 points in early trading on Thursday. Apple originally forecast revenue of between $89 billion and $93 billion.

Follow Michael on Twitter. The stock has fallen about 30 percent since Cook said in November that the company may miss its holiday quarter sales estimate.

"Apple stock is now at a crossroads", said a research note Thursday from Gene Munster and Will Thompson of the investment firm Loup Ventures.

More news: Toby Alderweireld's Tottenham contract will be extended, confirms Mauricio Pochettino

Of course, it is nothing to do with Apple or the fact people don't seem to feel the need to pay over the odds for technology they can buy for less when last year's phone worked fine.

Apple's latest comments fuelled worries that its relatively high-priced devices may be falling out of favour in China, where rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] offer cheaper options. But he said sales decreased as consumer "uncertainty" grew over the U.S.

'We did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China, ' he said.

Among big industrial companies that could suffer from a drop in demand from China, Caterpillar declined 3.9 per cent, Deere 2.7 per cent and Boeing 4 per cent. The announcement after the market closed Wednesday sent shares down 10 percent Thursday - the company's worst day in about six years.

For now, shares of Apple suppliers were taking the biggest hits.

"It's understandable that investors are piecing together what went wrong and its impact on the business longer-term", Munster said. "'The carrier channel is going to be incentivized to start selling 5G phones in the second half" of 2019, he said.

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