- Apple’s market cap fell bellow $2 trillion.
- Regulators warn banks about crypto fraud.
- The House has no speaker.
Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Holiday hangover
Stocks started the year with a stumble after the long holiday weekend. The Dow and the S&P closed down slightly, while the Nasdaq, hit by declines in Apple and Tesla stock, fell 0.8%. New economic data from Europe, including a decline in France’s consumer price index, could help brighten investors’ spirits Wednesday, as market watchers seek signs that inflation is easing. Investors will also digest the latest job openings, or JOLTS, report Wednesday morning, ahead of Friday’s big monthly jobs number. Read live markets updates here.
2. Apple falls under $2 trillion
While Tesla has been grabbing headlines for its dramatic stock declines, the usually stalwart Apple has run into a rough patch of its own. The premium electronics maker slipped 27% in 2022, faring worse than the broad S&P 500 index. It kicked off 2023 with a soft session, as well, falling more than 3% Tuesday and finishing the day with a market value of under $2 trillion. The downward pressure appears to be coming mostly from Covid impacts in China weighing on iPhone production, as well as more general concern about demand for Apple’s pricey products as consumers grapple with inflation and the possibility of a recession this year.
3. Regulators warn banks on crypto
Federal regulators were already wary about cryptocurrency, but now they’re warning banks to be super extra careful following the swift collapse of FTX and the sweeping indictment of the exchange’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a joint statement Tuesday, telling banks that involvement in crypto could expose them to “fraud and scams among crypto-asset sector participants” as well as “contagion risk within the crypto-asset sector resulting from interconnections among certain crypto-asset participants.” The warning came the same day Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to eight federal charges, including fraud and conspiracy. His trial is set to begin Oct. 2.
4. Mortgage demand slides
Interest rates shot up again at the end of 2022, which weighed on mortgage demand. Overall, mortgage demand fell 13% last week from two weeks earlier. Drilling down, applications to buy a home slipped 12%, while refinancing applications, which are more sensitive to rate changes, declined 16%. During the last two weeks of the year, rates for the popular 30-year mortgage rose to 6.58% from 6.34%. It had been 3.33% at the end of 2021.
5. Three votes, no speaker
The new Congress went into session Tuesday, but, for the first time in 100 years, the majority party failed to elect a speaker right away. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, failed on three ballots to be elected to the office, as hard-right members of his caucus held firm against him. Opposition to McCarthy grew throughout the day. His chances are murky at best, especially now that former President Donald Trump has backed off fully endorsing McCarthy for speaker. The chaos likely foreshadows only more dysfunction over the next two years, potentially imperiling essential legislation such as bills to keep the government open. The House is adjourned until noon Wednesday.
– CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Kif Leswing, Hugh Son, Diana Olick and Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.
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