U.S. markets had a soft open on Tuesday that continued into the afternoon session. The Nasdaq led the way lower with a decline of 0.3%, although the tech-heavy index was able to pare some of its earlier losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.13% and the S&P 500 declined 0.12% Tuesday afternoon.
Telecom stocks were showing signs of life, but the tech sector struggled in the first session following the holiday break. Shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report were up 0.2% while AT&T Inc. (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report climbed 0.48%.
Action Alerts PLUS holding Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report was lately down 2.6% to $170.46 following a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily suggesting that iPhone X demand could be softer than expected in the first quarter. The newspaper predicted that Apple will cut its iPhone X sales forecast to 30 million units in the quarter, down from 50 million. Apple has not publicly disclosed its internal sales targets for the device.
Apple suppliers Micron Technology Inc. (MU) - Get Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) Report , Skyworks Solutions Inc. (SWKS) - Get Skyworks Solutions, Inc. Report and Qorvo Inc. (QRVO) - Get Qorvo, Inc. Report were all also falling, with Micron leading the way lower, declining 4.47%.
One analyst firm refuted the story about weak iPhone X demand, with Rosenblatt Securities reiterating its "buy" rating and $180 price target for Apple.
FANG stocks were also struggling across the board with Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Report leading the way lower, down 0.62% and 1.5%, respectively, while Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report was able to reverse its earlier losses and rise 0.6%. Shares of Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report declined 0.4%.
Bitcoin continued its wild ride Tuesday, rising about 14% to $15,721.58 on Tuesday. Over the last 24 hours, the digital currency reached a low near $13,500 per unit. On Friday, the world's most popular cryptocurrency lost nearly 30% of its value, falling as low as $11,159 after reaching an all-time high of $19,666 last week.
Not every banking institution will benefit from the GOP tax bill that was just signed into law. Capital One Financial Corp (COF) - Get Capital One Financial Corporation Report shares were down nearly 1% Tuesday after the company announced that it was cutting its stock buyback program due to a $1.9 billion charge related to the new tax bill. The company expects to maintain its $0.40 per share quarterly dividend.
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