Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max Pushes Up the Price
Topic of the day
Apple unveiled a new iPhone lineup aimed at wringing more money out of its top model without jacking up prices for more basic versions that are getting only minor upgrades. The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant showed off an iPhone 15 lineup at a company event Tuesday that featured largely incremental improvements, including better cameras, improved battery and new software features. For pricier Pro models, Apple is offering a new titanium case to make the phones lighter and a screen that pushes further out to the edges of the device, among other advances. The iPhone 15 Pro Max will start at $1199 for a version with 256 gigabytes of memory. Apple said it’s the same price as last year’s Pro Max model with the same storage, but the company effectively raised the minimum price for the Pro Max by $100 by eliminating a lower-price 128-gigabyte model. Apple shares closed down 1.7% Tuesday after the announcements. The stock had gained 38% this year through Monday’s close despite some recent weakness, outpacing the Nasdaq Composite index. The iPhone still accounts for around half of Apple’s overall revenue. For the company’s most recently reported quarter ended July 1, iPhone revenue declined 2.4% to $39.7 billion, missing analysts’ expectations. Perhaps the most consequential update for consumers is found in all of Apple’s new products. Apple is moving its iPhones to the USB-C standard connector port, doing away with its proprietary Lightning connector that was introduced into the iPhone 5 in 2012. Apple is complying with new European regulations, which it initially opposed. Apple also introduced two new Apple Watches, the Series 9 and its bigger, more sports-oriented Apple Watch Ultra 2. Both watches feature a new chip, called the S9, that speeds up AI processing in the watch, Apple said. The chip allows users to speak to Siri voice assistant and access health data on the device instead of being shipped to the cloud. The new chip also enables a new way of interacting with the watch that Apple is calling Double Tap, where the user double taps their index finger and thumb together to do quick tasks such as pick up a phone call or turn off an alarm. Apple also claims the new Apple Watch is its first ever carbon-neutral product. The company said it would no longer be using leather in its products, such as Apple Watch watch bands, citing environmental concerns.
Tuesday the SMI gained 0.1 per cent to 10,987 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were twelve price gainers and eight price losers. 15.32 (previously: 16.17) million shares were traded. Novartis closed 1.5 per cent higher at 89.67 francs. The share benefited from a price target increase by Bank of America (BoA), according to traders. However, market participants also attributed the price increase to the upcoming spin-off of the subsidiary Sandoz. Roche (+0.3%), the second pharmaceutical heavyweight, also gained slightly. Meanwhile, Nestle shares, which are also heavily weighted, fell by 0.9 per cent. Partners Group shares were likewise in demand, rising by 1.2 per cent without news. Shares of building materials manufacturer Sika (-2.3 per cent) and sanitary products manufacturer Geberit (-0.7 per cent) were sold. Shares across Europe within the construction industry were among the worst performers as well.
European stocks were lower on Tuesday, with U.S. futures also weaker following a revenue warning from Oracle. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell by 0.2% to 455.4 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 were each down 0.4%. The DAX 40 in Frankfurt gave up 0.5%. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.4%, following the announcement of a slight rise in the unemployment rate and a stabilisation of wage growth in the UK in the three months to the end of July. SES-imagotag (+12.2%) published "excellent results" for the first half of the year, according to Invest Securities, with net profit jumping to 91.5 million euros, compared with 4.9 million euros a year earlier. The electronic labels specialist also confirmed all its financial targets for 2023 and 2024. Licensed perfume manufacturer Interparfums (-0.9%) expects a sharp decline of its operating margin for the full year 2023, after a first half marked by very strong earnings growth. The luxury goods group Kering (-1%) has announced the end of its collaboration with Sarah Burton, who directed the designs of the Alexander McQueen brand for thirteen years. The Irish paper group Smurfit Kappa (-9.8% in London) and the American company WestRock (+3.5% on Wall Street) have officially signed a merger agreement, which will create a global paper and packaging giant valued at around 20 billion dollars.
Technology stocks pulled the S&P 500 lower Tuesday after a disappointing forecast from Oracle damped enthusiasm for the sector. The retreat by the S&P 500’s largest segment helped send the broad index down 0.6% for the day, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is less influenced by tech stocks, slipped 0.1%, or about 18 points. Investors are looking ahead to Wednesday’s report on the consumer-price index, the highest-profile inflation data remaining before the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee meets next week. The technology sector led the way lower Tuesday, with Oracle shares slumping 13%, their largest one-day percent decrease since March 2002. The software giant revealed late Monday that it had missed expectations for quarterly sales and shared an underwhelming outlook for sales in the current quarter. Technology is one of the stock market’s top-performing sectors in 2023, with a gain of 39%, compared with an advance of 16% by the S&P 500. But the Oracle report seemed to erode the appeal of tech stocks in general, at least for the day. Microsoft shares fell 1.8%, Adobe shares dropped 3.9% and Broadcom shares retreated 1.7%. Nvidia shares slipped 0.7%, extending their losing streak to five consecutive sessions, their longest since December, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Apple shares declined, remaining in negative territory after the iPhone maker’s annual event unveiling new products. The company’s stock ended the day down 1.7%. Shares of automakers rose after the United Auto Workers union softened its demands for wage increases. Ford shares gained 1.9%, General Motors shares advanced 2.6% and shares of Chrysler owner Stellantis rallied 2.6%. Shares of WestRock rose 2.8% after Ireland’s Smurfit Kappa agreed to buy the packaging company for $11.15 billion.
Asian stocks were mixed. In China, the Shanghai Composite is down 0.9 per cent, the HSI in Hong Kong by 0.2 per cent. In Hong Kong, the shares of the crisis-ridden property developer Country Garden climb by a further 6.5 per cent. The company reached an agreement with creditors to defer payments on several renminbi-denominated bonds. In tow, China Evergrande gains 1.2 per cent. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index loses 0.4 per cent - weighed down by declines among electronics stocks. In South Korea, the Kospi falls by 0.2 per cent. Among the individual stocks, Netmarble dropped 8.6 per cent amid profit-taking. A well-performing mobile game had recently caused the share price to rally.
10- and 30-year U.S. government debt yields finished lower on Tuesday as traders prepared for August’s data on inflation and retail sales on Wednesday and Thursday for more clues on whether the Federal Reserve plans to deliver one more interest-rate increase later this year. The 10-year Treasury note yield ended down 2 basis points at 4.272%. The 2-year Treasury note yield rose by 2 basis points to 5.018%.
Price target Accelleron: UBS lowers to 28 (29) CHF - Buy
Rating Nestlé: Société Générale raises to Hold (Sell) - target CHF 106 (108)
Dt. Bank downgrades L'Oreal to Sell (Hold) - Target EUR 350 (385)
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