Stock Market Today: Dow closes just below flatline as Apple falls in tech stumble

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Stock Market Today: Dow closes just below flatline as Apple falls in tech stumble
Credit: © Reuters. -- The Dow closed just lower Tuesday, as Apple led a stumble in tech despite unveiling its latest iPhone, but jump in energy stocks kept losses in check a day ahead of fresh inflation data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%, 17 points, Nasdaq slumped 1%, and the  S&P 500 fell 0.6%.

Apple iPhone launch proves to be a ‘sell on the news’ event

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) closed about 2% lower as the launch of its iPhone 15 and new Apple series 9 watch largely met Wall Street expectations, though some were surprised that the tech didn’t lift the price of its iPhone Pro model, keeping it at $999, unchanged from last year.

Still, the tech bulls on Wall Street continue to expect that the latest iPhone will spur many iPhone customers still hanging onto older iPhones to make the switch to the more advanced, more expensive iPhone Pro and Pro Max models.

“We expect a heavy iPhone Pro mix shift for iPhone 15 in a 75%/25% base model vs. the historical 60%/40% seen over the past few years in a major ASP tailwind for Cook & Co. especially out of China in a very heavy Pro/Max model mix,” Wedbush said in a Tuesday note.

Oracle slumps as guidance fails to impress

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL ) reporting fiscal first-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates, but the cloud provider’s current-quarter revenue guidance fell short of Wall Street estimates, overshadowing positive remarks of AI-led demand and sending its shares more than 13% lower.

The company said it sees adjusted EPS of $1.30 to $1.34 per share and revenue of $13B the fiscal second quarter, compared with estimates for EPS of $1.33 on revenue of $13.28B, respectively. 

Still, UBS believes the AI-led growth story for Oracle remains intact, saying that while the slower growth is disappointing, it isn’t “thesis-changing for most long duration investors.”

Energy stocks shines as oil prices advance, again

Energy stocks, with gains of more than 2% on the day, helped to keep broader market losses in check, supported by a rise in oil prices to new highs the year following recent announcements by Saudi and Russia to extend oil supply cuts through the end of the year.

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO ), EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT ), and Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY ) were among the top gainers with the closing 4% higher.

Incoming inflation report eyed ahead of Fed decision next week

Investor attention was also dominated by the upcoming consumer inflation report due Wednesday, expected to confirm the recent signs that of slowing inflation.

Economists expect the headline consumer price index , or CPI, picked up pace in August, rising 0.6% from a 0.2% pace the prior month. But core inflation , which is more closely watched by the Fed and excludes food and energy prices, is expected to have remained steady at 2% last month but slowed to a 4.3% in the 12 months through July.

The slowing price increases in the price goods – following a switch in demand from goods to services post-pandemic --  was the likely catalyst behind slowing inflation last month.  

“The main category driving disinflation in August is core goods, where we expect another negative print,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.

The consumer inflation data comes a day ahead of producer price inflation data due Wednesday, and the Federal Reserve decision on Sept. 20, when the U.S. central bank will likely keep its benchmark rate unchanged.

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