Apple Watch to Reach Stores in June
Until now, if you wanted to get your hands on an Apple Watch, you would have to purchase it online. Apple Inc. (AAPL) has now said that from the 26th of June, these watches will be available for purchase at some of its retail stores. Added to this, the technology giant said that they would roll out their new product in an additional 7 countries including Taiwan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Mexico and Italy. Since the 10th of April, the Apple Watch has only been on display in the Apple stores as well as at trendy boutiques in London, Tokyo and Paris. At the time, customers were able to pre-order online and Apple apparently presented their new product this way in order to prevent the long queues at their stores which has become the norm when Apple launches a new product. According to analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald, Apple’s decision to allow customers to purchase the Apple Watch at an Apple retail store is likely to boost sale volumes. Apple also reported that all orders that were placed in May, except for one model, would be shipped to customers within 2 weeks. According to Jeff Williams, senior VP of operations, the response to the Apple Watch has been overwhelming and has exceeded the company’s expectations. Williams also said that Apple is currently making great progress in filling the backlog of orders for the watch. To date, Apple has not released any sales figures but they have hinted that demand is outweighing supply. According to Angelo Zino, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ, it is possible that Apple will ship at least 30 million watches in 2016. Apple is currently trading at $129.36 a share.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks declined. This came in response to tensions in Greece regarding their debt payment as well as positive economic data out of the U.S. which prompted expectations that the Federal Reserve is likely to increase interest rates this year. On Thursday, Greece told the IMF (International Monetary Fund) that instead of paying each of the 4 debts which are due in June, they would bundle these 4 loan repayments and will make one repayment on the 30th of June. The first payment was due today, 05 June 2015. At the close of trading, the S&P 500 index (SPX) declined 0.9%, or 18.23 points, to 2,095.84. Added to this, this benchmark index closed under its 50-day moving average for the 1st time since the 7th of May. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) also declined 0.8%, or 40.11 points, to close at 5,059.12. For the week, this tech heavy index is on track to drop 0.2 percent. Also, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 0.9%, or 170.69 points, to 17,905.58. Both the SPX and the DJIA are on track for a 0.6% weekly drop.
In forex trading on Thursday, the U.S. dollar (USD) held steady. This came after data showed that the number of people in the U.S. who applied for unemployment assistance had declined more than expected while investors have now shifted their attention to the jobs report which is due out on Friday. According to the Department of Labor, for the week ending 30 May, the number of people filing for initial jobless benefits was at 276,000, down 8,000. In the previous week, the total was at 284,000. Meanwhile on Wednesday, data showed that the private sector in the US added 201,000 jobs in May which beat expectations for 200,000. The EUR/USD traded at 1.1263, down 0.10% while the GBP/USD traded at 1.5353, up 0.08%. Also, the USD traded higher against the Japanese yen and the Australian dollar with USD/JPY up 0.15% to 124.44 and with AUD/USD down 1.43% to 0.7676. Also, the U.S. dollar index was steady at 95.41.
In early Asian trading on Friday, crude oil prices declined. This comes as investors shift their focus to the OPEC meeting which will take place on Friday. Investors are hoping that the meeting will provide some insight as to how the group will accommodate added supply into the market from Iran and other countries. WTI crude for July delivery traded at $57.96 a barrel, down 0.07% on the NYMEX. Meanwhile on Thursday, Brent crude oil for July delivery traded at $62.05 a barrel, down 2.75% or $1.75, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). This marked the 2nd straight session that Brent crude closed below $64 a barrel.