Financial markets have focused attention on California today ahead of a key Apple ($APPL) event, where the technology company is expected to announce the latest update to its iPhone range, as well as an eagerly anticipated smartwatch.
By Kevin Loane
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Apple shares were up 1.14% to $99.48 in early morning trading, as traders adopted a ‘buy the rumors’ approach. The technological giant’s share price has risen by 3.82% over the past month as investors anticipated the latest additions to its product offering. Annual revenue increased by almost 10% to $171 billion in 2013, and many analysts expect Apple’s latest gadgets to help drive this figure to lofty new highs. News reports ahead of the presentation suggest Apple chief, Tim Cook, will unveil two new sizes for the latest release of its ubiquitous smartphone and a technological watch. The release date for its software update, iOS 8, is also expected.
Today’s announcement comes one day after Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) value crossed the $200 billion mark for the first time, highlighting the financial muscle of technology companies. The company’s share price closed yesterday at $77.89, giving it a market capitalization of $202.52 billion. The company has doubled in value since its IPO a little over two years ago. Facebook, a constituent of NASDAQ, helped lift its parent index 0.20% to 4592.29 yesterday. However, despite Apple’s rise this morning, NASDAQ opened in the red, trading down 0.29% to 4579.15. The more diversified S&P 500 index was also down, by 0.34% or 6.72 points, to 1994.82.
Elsewhere, currency traders continued to focus on the British pound after a poll released over the weekend gave the Yes campaign its first lead ahead of Scotland’s independence referendum next week. GBP/USD was broadly flat today, down 0.03% to 1.6093 by 14:00 in London after yesterday’s sharp fall. Traders had to weigh strong UK industrial production data that pointed to a better-than-expected 0.5% rise in August (Consensus: 0.2%), with comments from Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, who said that a currency union with an independent Scotland would be ‘incompatible with sovereignty’.
Back in the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data. The previously low-key release has gained prominence after Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, pointed to it as one of her favorite indicators when analyzing the labor market. July’s data pointed to fairly stable conditions for jobseekers. Job openings totaled 4.7 million on the last day of July, which was in-line with the consensus estimate, and little changed from its figure in June. Hires and separations were broadly stable as well.
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