Coronavirus: Tesla, Apple slump as stocks start May with broad losses

Bay Area companies started May on a rough note, as Apple, Tesla, Intel and others saw their shares go into the red in the wake of more uncertainty over the coronavirus crisis and President Trump threatening a new trade war with China over its role in the worldwide pandemic.

Trump said he is considering imposing new tariffs on imports from China after saying at the White House on Thursday that he is confident that the coronavirus outbreak started due to an accident in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Trump offered no precise evidence for his statement.

But, with China being where leading tech companies build much of their products, Trump’s comments roiled Wall Street, and sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by 622.03 points, or 2.6%, to close at 23,723.69. The S&P 500 gave up 2.8% to fall to 2,830.71, and the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 3.2% to drop to 8,604.95.

Tesla shares slumped by 10.3%, to close at $701.32 after Chief Executive Elon Musk went on a tweetstorm that included him saying, “Tesla stock price is to high imo (in my opinion).” Musk also said he was going to sell nearly all of his material possessions.

Apple shares ended the day down by 1.6%, at $289.07, one day after Chief Executive Tim Cook said Apple is facing its “most challenging” economic environment in its history because of the coronavirus crisis. On Thursday, Apple reported second-quarter sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates. However, Apple had already said revenue would fall short of its own expectations due to the impact of coronavirus upon its supply and retail chains.

Among other Bay Area companies, Intel shares fell by 4.2%, to $57.47, HP was off by 5.2%, to close at $14.71 a share, Cisco Systems shares gave up 3.5%, to fall to $40.92, Google parent company Alphabet fell 2%, to close at $1,320.61 a share, and Nvidia shares fell by 3.3%, to $282.78.

One bright spot for Bay Area companies was Oakland-based Clorox, which rose 3.3%, to close at $192.51 a share. Clorox got a lift after the company reported strong quarterly sales due to high demand for bleach, disinfecting wipes and other household cleaning products.



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Author: Rex Crum

Mercury News Business