Volatility continued to be the theme for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) on Friday. The index tumbled into negative territory as early gains were quickly wiped out, only to bounce back into positive territory soon after. At 10:40 a.m. EDT, the Dow was up about 1.1%.
There are now over 14,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, and over 200 deaths. The entire state of California has been ordered to stay at home as the virus spreads rapidly. Economically, a recession in the U.S. appears certain.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have tumbled as the crisis unfolded, but the stock gained on Friday after a report saying the launch of 5G iPhones is still on track. Meanwhile, shares of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) declined after the beverage company pulled its full-year guidance.
Apple limits online orders, still on track to launch 5G iPhone
With Apple closing all its stores outside China, the company’s website is now a primary way for consumers to buy new devices, including iPhones. Reuters reported on Thursday that Apple was limiting online purchases to two iPhones per person in many countries, even as production in China begins to recover. The limit may be to prevent the hoarding and reselling of iPhones.
The demand picture for iPhones is unclear as countries including the United States increasingly adopt extreme but necessary measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. With more Americans staying home, and with job losses piling up, an iPhone upgrade is unlikely to be the top priority for many people.
In other Apple news, Bloomberg reported late Thursday that the launch of Apple’s widely expected 5G iPhones is still on schedule, despite lingering issues with the supply chain. While production in China is getting back to normal, disruption in other countries could complicate Apple’s ability to get new products into customers’ hands.
Mass production of 5G iPhones isn’t scheduled to begin until May, according to Bloomberg’s sources, late enough that most of the supply chain problems could be solved by then. If Apple does manage to launch on time, questions remain about demand. If the world is mired in a deep recession later this year, there may be little appetite for pricey gadgets.
Apple stock was up 2.2% Friday morning, regaining some of the ground lost in the past few weeks. Shares of the tech giant are down about 22% over the past month.
Coca-Cola pulls its guidance
Beverage giant Coca-Cola became the latest company to warn about the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on Friday. In an SEC filing, Coca-Cola said that it no longer expects to achieve its previously issued full-year guidance.
Coca-Cola doesn’t see any near-term disruption at this time with its concentrate or beverage base production, but demand is taking a hit as restaurants close, major events are cancelled, travel decreases, and social distancing becomes the norm. Combined with changes in foreign exchange rates, Coca-Cola’s full-year results will be negatively impacted. The company isn’t providing new guidance, but it plans on updating investors when it releases its first-quarter report.
A month ago, Coca-Cola estimated that the crisis would hurt unit case volumes by 2% to 3%, and organic revenue by 1% to 2%, during the first quarter. It also reaffirmed its full-year guidance at the time. With dine-in restaurants closing in many cities in the U.S., Coca-Cola could see a substantial short-term sales decline.
Shares of Coca-Cola were down about 0.7% Friday morning. The stock is down 30% over the past month.