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U.S. stocks ended sharply lower amid Apple's quarterly revenue forecast cut, downbeat data
Last Updated: 2019-01-04 10:09 | Xinhua
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U.S. stocks closed with steep losses on Thursday following Apple's slash of its first-quarter revenue forecast and downbeat economic data, stoking fears of slowing global economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 600.02 points, or 2.83 percent, dramatically lower to 22,686.49. The S&P 500 slumped 62.14 points, or 2.48 percent, to 2,447.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 202.43 points, or 3.04 percent, to 6,463.50.

Shares of Apple plummeted near 10 percent at the closing hour, weighing down the embattled Dow Jones Industrial Average by more than 300 points and posting its biggest single-day loss in six years.

Apple revised forecast of revenue in the first quarter in fiscal 2019 lower to 84 billion U.S. dollars, CEO Tim Cook announced in a letter to investors on Wednesday.

The figure, a marked decline from a previous guidance of a range of 89-93 billion U.S. dollars, was the first forecast slash in more than 15 years.

Cook attributed most of the company's guidance on revenue shortfall to declining sales across iPhone, Mac and iPad, shrinking retail stores and channel partners in China.

Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb also slumped more than 13 percent, following news that the U.S. pharmaceutical company plans to purchase rival Celgene, a U.S. biotechnology firm, for about 74 billion U.S. dollars.

In contrast, Shares of Celgene surged over 20 percent at the end of the trading day.

Shares of Delta Air Lines also dived roughly 8.9 percent after the U.S. airline lowered its revenue forecast in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Shares of Boeing also declined nearly 4 percent, leading the laggards on the Dow.

Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors fell, with the information technology sector down more than five percent, leading the laggards. The industrial sector ranked the second with a drop of nearly two percent.

On the economic front, investors are digesting downbeat data relating to U.S. economy, fueling nervousness over ebbing economic activities in the new year.

The ISM manufacturing index dipping to 54.1 in December, its lowest level since November 2016, which was weaker than market expectations and down from 59.3 in November, according to a latest report.

The index, issued by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), is widely considered as an indicator for the expansion pace of economic activity in the manufacturing sector. The U.S.-based ISM is the world's largest not-for-profit supply management association.

U.S. labor market remains teetering to maintain its strength with both rising weekly jobless claims and private payrolls.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits reached 231,000 with a seasonally adjusted increase of 10,000 for the week ended Dec. 29, said the Labor Department on Thursday.

Offsetting the worrying impact, private payrolls rose by 271,000 jobs in December, higher than the November increase of 157,000, according to the ADP National Employment Report on Thursday.

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