Micron Warns of Weakening Demand, Lower Sales
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Micron Technology Inc. said revenue could slide lower than previously expected in the current quarter as demand for computer memory chips continues to weaken. The company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that expectations for industry bit-demand growth for dynamic random-access memory chips and NAND flash memory chips have softened since it last provided guidance. It expects challenging conditions for the next two quarters. Revenue in the current quarter is expected to come in at or below the low end of Micron's prior forecast between $6.8 billion and $7.6 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting $7.28 billion. In the next quarter, it expects bit shipments to decline sequentially, which would bring a significant revenue shortfall, hurt margins, and send free cash flow into the red.
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The Swiss stock market ended Tuesday's trading session slightly lower. Participants spoke of increased caution ahead of the announcement of US consumer prices on Wednesday. The SMI lost 0.2 per cent to 11,145 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 13 losers and 7 gainers. 24.61 (previously: 25.05) million shares were traded. Among the individual stocks, the Dufry share went up by 4.1 per cent. The duty-free shop operator reported better-than-expected half-year results with better-than-forecast profit and a continued sales recovery in July, RBC Capital Markets said. "We continue to favour Dufry given the ongoing good recovery in travel and the longer-term opportunities arising from the recently announced merger with Autogrill," the analysts added. Defensive index heavyweights in particular bucked the negative trend in the SMI. The shares of Nestle, Roche and Novartis gained between 0.1 and 1.2 per cent.
European stock markets closed in the red on Tuesday as investors opted for caution ahead of the release of US inflation figures for July. At the close, the Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.7% to 436 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 each gave up 0.5%. The DAX 40 in Frankfurt was down 1.1%, while the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.1%. Muenchener Rueckversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG said Tuesday that it was cutting its full-year guidance for return on investment on a cooling economy and higher rates, though profit and premiums beat second-quarter expectations as it overcame bigger losses. The German reinsurer downgraded part of its full-year guidance after its investment result tumbled to 971 million euros ($990 million) in the second quarter from EUR1.93 billion in the same period last year, which it blamed on impairment losses on equities, triggered by falling equity markets. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC said Tuesday that its first-half performance continued to recover as the easing of travel restrictions supported a rise in travel demand, and said it was launching a share buyback program of up to $500 million. The London-listed hotel chain said it considered its buyback program appropriate in the current environment and was part of its “disciplined approach to investing in the business to drive future growth, which in 2022 includes significant increases in capital expenditure as well as substantial operating cost investment to deliver our strategic priorities.”
U.S. stock indexes closed lower Tuesday as investors monitored earnings reports and economic data ahead of inflation figures due later in the week. The S&P 500 slipped 17.59 points, or 0.4%, to 4122.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 58.13 points, or 0.2%, to 32774.41 while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 150.53 points, or 1.2%, to 12493.93. Investors await consumer-price data on Wednesday that could set expectations for how the Federal Reserve will approach monetary policy at its coming meetings. In recent weeks, better-than-expected corporate earnings and strong labor-market data have eased concerns about an imminent U.S. recession, helping stock markets rebound from their lows. Shares of Roblox, Coinbase Global, and Wynn Resorts all fell in after-hours trading following disappointing earnings results. Chip maker Micron Technology fell 3.7% Tuesday after issuing a revenue warning, just a day after Nvidia offered similar preliminary guidance. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings fell nearly 11% after reporting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss. Shares of peer cruise line Carnival Corporation fell 5.4% as pockets of the travel sector struggle to recover from the pandemic. Investors are keen to see results from Walt Disney Co., which are expected after Wednesday's close. Data released Tuesday showed U.S. labor productivity declined for a second straight quarter while labor costs were more elevated than economists expected.
Shares are not in demand on the Asian stock exchanges ahead of the eagerly awaited US inflation data. In Australia, too, the discussion about interest rate hikes is gaining momentum again. According to Matt Comyn, CEO at CBA, key interest rates above 3 per cent, which were last seen in 2013, are by no means out of the realm of possibility. The gloomy mood on the stock market is being joined by increasingly clear signals of an economic slowdown in China. The rating agency Fitch has lowered its GDP forecast for the important special economic zone Hong Kong and now expects a local GDP decline of 0.5 per cent for 2022, after previously believing in growth of 1.0 per cent.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged up to 2.797% from 2.763% on Monday, while the two-year yield rose to 3.284% from 3.214%. With shorter-term yields significantly above longer-term ones, the yield curve remains inverted, a key recession indicator.
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