Wild markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

A summary to yesterday’s wild markets, Apple seeking a new chipmaker and profits for BP

Oil Giant BP Plc reported more than double annual profits in 2017 thanks to the global increase in oil prices
Oil Giant BP Plc reported more than double annual profits in 2017 thanks to the global increase in oil prices

U.S. markets swung wildly in volatile trading on Monday as stocks battled to recover from Friday’s large sell-off. The day’s weakness was broad based, with all S&P 500 sectors down and all 30 Dow components finishing lower and recording its worst single-day point drop in history before recovering slightly from its session low. The biggest movers were stocks in the financial sector, followed by energy and communications.

European markets also finished lower, as data showing stronger-than-expected wage growth in the U.S. stoked fears inflation will jump and force the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike interest rates faster than anticipated, with boosted bond yields in turn weighing on equities. The FTSE 100 index dropped 1.5% to finish at 7,334.98 with the Stoxx Europe 600 index losing 1.6% to end at 382.00.

Apple seeking chipmaker

Shares in chipmaker, Qualcomm Inc, fell 3 percent on Monday after two brokerages said Apple Inc might drop the company in favor of Intel Corp as the supplier for modem chips in its next generation of iPhones. The reports came as Broadcom on Monday sweetened its bid to buy Qualcomm to more than $121 billion from an earlier $103 billion.

Qualcomm has been a supplier of components to Apple for years but the relationship took a bad turn last year when Apple accused Qualcomm of overcharging for chips and refusing to pay some $1 billion in promised rebates. Apple could potentially save more than $100 million in the next iPhone cycle by moving to cheaper Intel modem chips. Intel shares were up 1.4 percent at $46.81 on Monday morning.

BP profits

Oil Giant BP Plc reported more than double annual profits in 2017 thanks to the global increase in oil prices. Its fourth quarter profits rose to $2.1bn, compared with $400m over the same three-month period in 2016. In early January, the price of oil hit $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2014.

Chief executive Bob Dudley hailed it "as one of the strongest years in BP's recent history", adding, "We are increasingly confident that we can continue to deliver growth across our business, improving cash flows and returns for shareholders out to 2021 and beyond." BP opened seven new oil and gas fields during 2017 and its oil production rose 12% to 247 million barrels of oil per day.

Disclaimer:

This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

More in Business Comment