Apple share are tumbling (as are the entire complex of suppliers) following a report from Nikkei that Taiwan Seminconductor’s shipments of iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 chips for June-Dec. period will likely shrink 70%-80% vs year earlier. As one anayst noted, a decline of more than 20-30% is not in consensus estimates. As Bloomberg reports, of particular interest is that this cut to orders is about upcoming iPhone 7, not about the well-publicized iPhone 6 slowdown.
Corporate revenues in the United States have been falling for quite some time, but now some of the biggest companies in the entire nation are reporting extremely disappointing results. On Tuesday, Apple shocked the financial world by reporting that revenue for the first quarter had fallen 7.4 billion dollars compared to the same quarter last year. That is an astounding plunge, and it represents the very first year-over-year quarterly sales decline that Apple has experienced since 2003. Analysts were anticipating some sort of drop, but nothing like this. And of course last week we learned that Google and Microsoft also missed revenue and earnings projections for the first quarter of 2016. The economic crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is really starting to take hold, and even our largest tech companies are now feeling the pain. Continue reading »
And just like that the “no brainer” party’s over. Remember when in January 2014 Carl Icahn laid out his extensive thesis on why being long AAPL is the best investment out there? Or when a little over a year later, hoping for even more stock buybacks (even as he was decrying short term activism) he boosted his price target on AAPL to $240? All that is now over and moments ago Carl Icahn admitted that the hedge fund hotel holding AAPL stocks, which consisted of 163 hedge funds as of December 31, has one less member, and he has sold his entire Apple position.
Reuters adds that according to the East Bay Times newspaper reported that an emergency call was made at 8:35 a.m. from Apple’s campus in Cupertino and that the victim, who had suffered a head wound, was pronounced dead at the scene. Local television station KTVU said investigators from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office were en route to the scene. Continue reading »
Luckily, the flaw only affects devices that have given Siri relevant permissions to access these applications. At the time of writing there does not appear to be an official fix for the bug however concerned users can fully disable Siri on the lock screen to ensure they don’t fall victim.
It’s all over the news that Bill Gates is coming out publicly admonishing Apple for not bending over backwards to build a skeleton key that unlocks everyone’s cell phones for the FBI in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting. He’s twisting the narrative to make it seem like this skeleton key, once in existence, wouldn’t be used again and again on other people’s phones (and will be forever).
On Friday, we noted that one of the reasons that the FBI was unable to get access to the data on the remaining iPhone from Syed Farook was because after the shooting and after the phone was in the hands of the government, Farook’s employer, the San Bernardino Health Department, initiated a password change on his iCloud account. That apparently messed stuff up, because without that, it would have been possible to force the phone to backup data to the associated iCloud account, where it would have been available to the FBI. But, after we published that article, a rather salient point came out: the Health Department only did this because the FBI asked it to do so.
“Apple’s stance in the San Bernardino case may not be quite the principled defense that Cook claims it is… it may have as much to do with public relations as it does with warding off what Cook called “an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers.””
(TRUTHINMEDIA) Using an obscure law, written in 1789 — the All Writs Act — the US government has ordered Apple to place a back door into its iOS software so the FBI can decrypt information on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
It has finally come to this. After years of arguments by virtually every industry specialist that back doors will be a bigger boon to hackers and to our nation’s enemies than publishing our nuclear codes and giving the keys to all of our military weapons to the Russians and the Chinese, our government has chosen, once again, not to listen to the minds that have created the glue that holds this world together. Continue reading »
Overnight, the SNB which unlike the Fed and the other “serious” central bank hedge funds, released a 13-F updating on its latest stock portfolio. We learned that in the quarter in which AAPL stock tumbled to $92 during the August 24 ETFlash crash, the Swiss money printing authority which reported a record $20 billion loss in the second quarter, and a record $52 billion in the first half, added another 909,000 AAPL shares, bringing its new grand total to 10.3 million shares,
Iphone maker Apple, Inc. claimed last month that their latest iteration of the wildly popular handheld device was unhackable. According to HackRead, the company is so convinced of its security successes that they issued a statement saying that data stored on a phone secured with a front screen passcode was impossible to access – even by highly talented intelligence agencies:
The CIA and the FBI are always looking for backdoors in Apple devices, in fact, the agency spent years trying to hack iPhone and iPads according to documents released by NSA’s Edward Snowden.
Now, with the new upgraded operating systems, Applehas termed it “impossible” to access any data from Apple devices. Though, the company can still access data from older phones. Continue reading »
The biggest scare haunting Apple stock in recent months has been whether the slow at first, then quite sudden collapse in both the Chinese economy, not to mention its burst stock market bubble (which in Chinese propaganda retrospect, is now a great thing), will put the breaks on Chinese purchases of Apple’s most important and profitable product – the iPhone. Indeed according to a just released UBS report, while it takes the average New York worker about 24 hours to afford a 16GB iPhone 6, this number rises to 218 hours in Beijing. And the great China’s economic slowdown the higher the number will go, and the lower Apple’s revenues in the coming quarters.
However, for China’s middle class, whose dreams of market bubble riches just went up in a margin call, there is still hope to pretend to be richer than one’s neighbor courtesy of a faux rose gold cell phone. The answer: a tablespoon of sperm.
As Xinhua reports, “technophiles may not have to reach far to find the cash for Apple’s latest model. According to an advertisement with the Shanghai Sperm Bank – all you have to do is donating.”
“No need to sell a kidney…Shanghai sperm bank can make your iPhone 6s dream come true,” says the ad which has gone viral on China’s most popular social networking app WeChat this week.
Capitalizing on the country’s lust for new technology, the sperm bank hopes to fix a shortage in donors ahead of the release of the iPhone 6s next week. Those who qualify to donate can receive up to 6,000 yuan for 17 ml of semen. The latest Apple model is expected to cost around 5,288 yuan.
The morbid jokes just write themselves:
“Why sell your kidney when you can donate sperm? It’s a great deed that can bring happiness to a whole family,” said microblog Weibo user “Wojiushiwutong”.
As a reminder, while “selling kidneys” is usually just a phrase, in China it became all too real in 2011 when a teenager sold one of his kidneys to buy and iPhone and an iPad. “To sell a kidney has become a well-known metaphor for the fever pitch surrounding Apple products.”
A sperm bank in central China’s Hubei Province posted a similar ad highlighting a picture of the new rose gold iPhone 6s, a color created mainly to attract Chinese consumers. The Shanghai ad is bluntly titled “New Solution to Get iPhone 6s”, evoking some criticism that the sperm bank is being insensitive.
“I don’t like the idea of making money out of sperm donation to buy new iPhones. Sperm donation is a very serious cause for public good,” one Weibo user said. But a spokesperson with the Shanghai sperm bank told Xinhua the campaign has worked well so far, raising awareness and attracting potential donors.
The reason why 17 ml of sperm are so valuable in China is because not only are there thousands of infertile couples in China, but all sperm banks across the country face donation shortages because many young men are unaware or too embarrassed to donate, forcing the banks to turn to social media.
Even if they do find a sufficient pool of potential donors, certain criteria must be met to be eligible. Donors must be between 22 to 45 years old, hold a college degree and have high-quality semen that can survive the rigors of freezing and thawing.Which still keeps the pool of eligible candidates in the tens if not hundreds of millions.
It was not exactly clear how potential female consumers of iPhone are supposed to capitalize on this latest Chinese craze, and while there are countless, and very humorous, places one can take this latest manifestation of capitalism perhaps gone too far, one potential Chinese “channel check” may have appeared: masturbation as a leading indicator of iPhone sales. Because just when sales were starting to turn flaccid, here comes China’s sperm-for-iPhones Hail Mary, promising at least several more quarters of firm stock reactions to EPS beats.
This is just a quick-hitter post on another former leader that is breaking down. As we have mentioned several times – in particular on July 22 and August 5 – the ever-thinning stock market rally is starting to lose the relatively few leaders still keeping it afloat. That July post noted the relative weakness in the equal-weight Nasdaq 100, even as the cap-weighted index remained near its highs. One reason was the performance of Apple Inc. (AAPL), the largest stock in the index, and the entire U.S. market. When AAPL is moving higher, it can mask a lot of problems in the broader market. Unfortunately for bulls, AAPL is beginning to crack. It began on the day of the July post when it got crushed following its earnings release. It has since broken down more, recently dropping below its post-2009 UP trendline.
Having broken its 200DMA earlier this morning, selling pressure has continued in the “as goes AAPL, so goes the US economy market” stock. Now down almost 12% from earnings exuberance, AAPL is in correction territory and is trading at six-month lows…
Here’s something interesting and creepy beyond belief – the Apple watch needs to see your blood and know it is being worn before it can receive calls and notifications, OR before it can be used to do any online transaction.
On the back of the Apple watch there is a light that has to penetrate your skin and see your blood before the watch will accept the fact that it is being worn. This is part of the heart monitor function. At first I thought this had to be a hoax, but the apple blogs confirm it is real. Apple refuses to comment.
Because of this, people who have tattoos on their wrist cannot use the apple watch to do much of anything, not even make calls or receive notifications because tattoos block the watch from seeing their blood. They can’t make online purchases or do anything that requires security because the apple watch wants to see your blood to prove it is you wearing it, and if it cannot it will not enable even basic features. Continue reading »
With the Nasdaq sitting at new highs having finally eclipsed the previous record of 5,048 set in March of 2000 and with consumers not-so-eagerly awaiting their chance to get in on the supposed wave of the wearables future by purchasing their very own Apple Watch, we learn that the fate of the tech bubble now rests entirely on the shoulders of Tim Cook because as FactSet notes, “blended Q1 Y/Y EPS growth for the Information Technology sector is 0.7% [but] excluding Apple, the blended earnings growth rate for the sector would fall to -5.1%.”
That rather disconcerting statistic makes this the scariest chart in the world for tech investors:
And as it turns out, it’s not just the tech space. Y/Y EPS growth for the entire S&P 500 is expected to come in at -2.8% — excluding Apple knocks more than a full percentage point off the already negative results: “The blended earnings decline for the entire S&P 500 is -2.8%. Excluding Apple, the blended earnings decline for the S&P 500 would increase to -3.9%.”
In other words, the market better hope there are a lot of these people out there: Continue reading »
Three weeks ago, when Hillary Clinton was scrambling to come up with a credible lie to explain why she was using a personal server for email distribution – one that was not US government property and thus exempt from official FOIA requests – she said during a press conference at the United Nations that the reason was simple: it was simply a matter of “convenience” of carrying just one device.
“when I got to work as secretary of State, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
RESEARCHERS WORKING with the Central Intelligence Agency have conducted a multi-year, sustained effort to break the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Intercept.
The security researchers presented their latest tactics and achievements at a secret annual gathering, called the “Jamboree,” where attendees discussed strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial electronics. The conferences have spanned nearly a decade, with the first CIA-sponsored meeting taking place a year before the first iPhone was released. Continue reading »
AAPL stock surged exuberantly on news of a gold Macbook – ran Friday’s high stops… then started to tumble on the Apple Watch release, but things got really bad once the Christy Turlington cheesey infomercial kicked in:
Another quarter of leaks of ubiquitous US espionage in every corner of the world, and sure enough we get another quarter of China just saying no to spending any more money on companies which are, as far as Beijing is concerned, a natural extension of the NSA. According to Reuters, China has just dropped some of America’s leading technology brands from its approved state purchase lists, chief among them Cisco (which already was hammered a year ago due to the Snowden revelations), and everyone’s favorite $1 trillion market cap or bust cell phone maker, Apple. Continue reading »
Virtually all of AAPL’s cash growth in the December 31 quarter took place offshore, where its cash hoard rose from $137 billion to $158 billion (mostly thanks to the previously mentioned surge in Chinese iPhone purchases). How much of Apple’s cash is domestic? As the following chart shows, a paltry $20 billion of AAPL’s cash, or barely above 10%, is held domestically – one of the lowest levels in the past 4 years – and can be used for such corporate activities as stock buybacks and dividends.
It also means that total US debt to nominal GDP as of Sept 30, which was $17.555 trillion, is now 103%. Keep in mind this GDP number was artificially increased by about half a trillion dollars a year ago thanks to the “benefit” of R&D and intangibles. Without said definitional change, debt/GDP would now be about 106%.
It also means that total US debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.
And now we wait for the US to become Spain, and add the estimated “contribution” from hookers and blow to GDP, once again pushing the total debt/GDP ratio below the psychological 100% level.
With the apparent goal of ‘protecting civilians’ from ISIS and Syria’s al-Assad, the US and Turkey appear to be close to agreeing on the creation of a no-fly-zone along a portion of the Syrian border. As WSJ reports, U.S. and Turkish officials have narrowed their differences over a joint military mission in Syria that would give the U.S. and its coalition partners permission to use Turkish air bases to launch strike operations against Islamic State targets across northern Syria. The no-fly-zone would provide sanctuary to Western-backed opposition forces and refugees. As Bloomberg notes, this is a significant reversal of Obama’s earlier policy (fearing it would be a significant strain on the U.S. Air Force and put fliers in mortal danger) pushing US closer to outright proxy war with Russia via direct confrontation with al-Assad’s airforce.
NDCC war room. Computer simulation. Image by Defence Ministy
Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war.
The new top-security, fortified facility in Moscow includes several large war rooms, a brand new supercomputer in the heart of a state-of-the-art data processing center, underground facilities, secret transport routes for emergency evacuation and a helicopter pad, which was deployed for the first time on Nov. 24 on the Moscow River. The Defense Ministry won’t disclose the price tag for the site, but it is estimated at the equivalent of several billion dollars.
ermany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) published a video report of immense implications – possibly the first national broadcaster in the West to admit that the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) is supplied not by “black market oil” or “hostage ransoms” but billions of dollars worth of supplies carried into Syria across NATO member Turkey’s borders via hundreds of trucks a day.
The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” confirms what has been reported by geopolitical analysts since at least as early as 2011 – that NATO member Turkey has allowed a torrent in supplies, fighters, and weapons to cross its borders unopposed to resupply ISIS positions inside of Syria.
In one surreal scene from the DW report, anti-Syria terrorists are seen walking across the border and literally shot dead just on the other side by Kurdish fighters.
Local residents and merchants interviewed by Germany’s DW admitted that commerce with Syria benefiting them had ended since the conflict began and that the supplies trucks carry as they stream across the border originates from “western Turkey.” The DW report does not elaborate on what “western Turkey” means, but it most likely refers to Ankara, various ports used by NATO, and of course NATO’s Incirlik Air Base.
Yesterday, when we commented on what was largely a pre-determined outcome of the Swiss gold referendum, we said that there still “is the question of what happens to the tension in the gold swap market: as noted last week, the 1 Month GOFO rate had tumbled to the most negative in over a decade. It was not clear if this collateral gold squeeze was the result of Swiss referendum overhang or due to other reasons. The market’s reaction on Monday should answer those questions.”
Well, a few hours ago we got the GOFO update for the “day after” and the answer is clear: it wasn’t fear of the Swiss referendum after all because the 1 Month GOFO just crashed even deeper into negative territory with the entire curve through 6M now red, and with 12 month GOFO just 0.6 bps away from negative for the first time. At this rate, tomorrow’s update will suggest that big institutions expect the gold swap shortage to persist through the end of 2015!
Also, judging by the gold reaction, which is about $50 from the overnight lows, someone else appears to have noticed that the rather shocking shortage of synthetic gold among institutions, which is finally seeping through into that whole “price discovery” process, where supply and demand actually matter.
Bottom line: whatever caused the record scramble for rehypothecated gold, it wasn’t fears about the outcome of the Swiss referendum. Something else spooked the precious metal a month ago, and as seen on the chart above, things have only gotten progressively worse since then.
As noted previously, total US debt is now over $18 trillion. Here is where it gets even more surreal: debt held by the public on January 20, 2009, Obama’s inauguration day, was $6.3 trillion. It is now $12.9 trillion, a 105% increase. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is Senator Barack Obama saying on July 3, 2008, that the $4 trillion in debt added by Bush was “irresponsible and unpatriotic”…
With a third of S&P 500 capital expenditure due from the imploding energy sector (and with over 20% of the high-yield market dominated by these names), paying attention to any inflection point in the US oil-producers is critical as they have been gung-ho “unequivocally good” expanders even as oil prices fell. However, as Reuters reports, new data suggests that the much-anticipated slowdown in shale country may have finally arrived – permits for new wells dropped 15% across 12 major shale formations last month, as one analysts warns, “the first domino is the price, which causes other dominos to fall.”
When a well paid NFL football lineman quits the game to raise food for the needy, that’s an unusually interesting story. After St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown decided to leave the game for good, his agent told him that he was making the biggest mistake of his life. Jason adamantly replied, “No I’m not. No I’m not.
The build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe is hostile and destabilizes the Baltic, once the safest region in Europe, a senior Russian diplomat charged. The alliance’s chief accused Moscow of conducting aggressive exercises close to NATO borders.
The trade of accusations between Russia and NATO continued on Monday ahead of a NATO ministerial meeting this week.
By bringing in more weapons to Eastern Europe, some of them with highly-destructive power, the North Atlantic alliance is undermining regional security, Russia’s deputy foreign minister told Interfax.
“What are NATO military commander in Europe Philip Breedlove and the likes of him doing? They are trying to shake up the most stable region in the world, which is Europe’s north. Those endless military exercises, rebasing of aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons to the Baltic nations. This is the reality, a very negative one,” he said.
Big news for the Right to Know movement! Awareness regarding the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has mushroomed, forcing the world to finally put genetically spliced food under the microscope.Organizers announced in London on November 11 that they will be performing the world’s first ever comprehensive and independent study on the safety of GMOs and their associated pesticides. Referred to as “Factor GMO,” the project has already begun the preparatory phase, but the full-blown experiment is expected to launch in 2015.The $25 million study will be the first long-term combined GMO/pesticide safety study involving multi-generational, toxicology and carcinogenicity arms. “Neutral” scientists with reportedly NO ties to the biotech industry or anti-GMO movement will be monitoring 6,000 rats fed GM corn over a three-year period.
The most popular name for baby boys in the UK is Muhammad, according to a new chart for 2014 compiled by BabyCentre. The name, also spelled as Mohammed and often given after the Muslim prophet, has seen an enormous gain in popularity, jumping 27 ranks.
So you don’t indulge in sugar. You never take antibiotics. You eat a pretty good diet. Why are you still battling Candida?You may have to look no further than your mouth. If you have amalgam fillings – mercury fillings – the cause of your Candidiasis might be staring back at you.
Over 50 percent of the government’s elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) have been accused of misconduct and subsequently probed by the state’s policing watchdog, new figures reveal.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has investigated “44 referrals from police and crime commissioners” relating to potential impropriety on behalf of 23 separate police chiefs, a spokesman for the body said on Monday.
This figure amounts to more than half of the 41 PCCS who were officially elected in November 2012, he told RT.
Unless the scientific community and political leaders act soon, cold, dark days are ahead, because the evidence is clear that the earth is rapidly growing colder because of diminished solar activity, says author John L. Casey, former NASA consultant.
Trends indicate we could be headed for colder temperatures similar to those seen in the late 1700s and early 1800s when the sun went into a “solar minimum” — a phenomenon with significantly reduced solar activity, including solar flares and sunspots, says Casey.
In his new book “Dark Winter,” Casey posits that a 30-year period of cold has already begun. Frigid temperatures and the food shortages that inevitably result could lead to riots and chaos.
“All you have to do is trust natural cycles and follow the facts, and that leads you to the inevitable conclusion that the sun controls the climate, and that a new cold era has begun,” says Casey.
Is it any surprise oil prices are cratering? With global GDP expectations plumbing cycle lows, JPMorgan just confirmed the global slowdown is accelerating as their Global Manufacturing PMI printed 51.8 – its slowest level of ‘expansion’ since September 2013.New Orders fell to the lowest reading since July 2013 and New Export Orders to the lowest since June 2013.
For the 3rd month in a row, US Manufacturing PMI dropped from 4-year highs to 10-month lows. At 54.8, missing expectations of 55.0 (and down from 55.9) for the 5th month of the last 6 as extrapolated hopes fade into the usual cyclical un-decoupled collapse into year-end (but ignore NRF data). Sadly for the bullish decoupling meme, Markit notes, “the principal cause of the slowdown is a renewed downturn in export orders, which fell for the first time since January.” So, amid all of this doom, ISM then beat expectations, printing 58.7 vs 58.0 expectations (down slightly from October’s 59.0 print) led by – rather ironically – new export orders surging… US data has gone full China.
Thousands of people have resigned from the Lutheran Church in Finland, after the nation’s parliament approved a same-sex marriage law and the church’s archbishop expressed support for the vote, Finland’s Yle News reported.
Another day full of global macroeconomic disappointments is certain to send the S&P500 to all time-higherest records as 100,000 or so E-mini contracts exchange hands between central banks and Citadel’s algos.
As its recent 10-K confirmed, AAPL’s domestic cash – the amount of cash available for such corporate transactions as dividends and buybacks – had dropped to just $18.1 billion (and that is including the several billion in commercial paper issued in fiscal Q4), the lowest domestic cash hoard since March 2010, a time when AAPL’s offshore cash was a tiny $24 billion compared to the near record $137 billion last quarter! So knowing full well that a buyback a day keep the Icahnator away, AAPL, urgently looking to refill its domestic cash since its offshore cash remains untouchable (absent being taxed on its repatriation), did the only thing it could do: prepare to issue more bonds, which is what we forecast would happen a few weeks ago, and what the WSJ overnight confirmed is already in progress.
When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.
“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence. I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow.
Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close.
Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends.
I was perplexed by this parenting style. After all, most parents seem to take the opposite approach, letting their children bathe in the glow of tablets, smartphones and computers, day and night.
Yet these tech C.E.O.’s seem to know something that the rest of us don’t.Continue reading »
I’m the furthest thing in the world from a technology or security expert, but what I have learned in recent years is that a dedicated, sophisticated and well funded hacker can pretty much own your data no matter how many precautions you take. Nevertheless, the major technology companies on the planet shouldn’t go out of their way to make this as easy as possible.
In the wake of the theft of private images from several prominent celebrities, many people are rightly wondering whether how vulnerable their data is. The answer appears to be “very,” and if you use Apple, the following article from Slate may leave you seething with a sense of anger and betrayal.