China's exports plunge; Apple supplier hit; Detroit Auto Show

1. China's economy: China's huge export industry just suffered its worst month in two years...

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 7:16 AM
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 7:16 AM

1. China's economy: China's huge export industry just suffered its worst month in two years but still managed to rack up a record trade surplus with the United States in 2018.

The value of goods shipped from China to the rest of the world fell by more than 4% in December, compared to the same period a year ago, Chinese government data published Monday showed.

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That represents the worst monthly performance for China's export sector in more than two years. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that exports from China would rise slightly in December.

Despite last month's gloom, China for the second year running racked up a record trade surplus with the United States in 2018, according to Chinese data.

The $323 billion gap in value between how much China sells to the United States and how much it buys from it has been at the heart of the trade dispute between the two countries. President Donald Trump has previously said that trade with China is unfair.

The United States had an even larger estimate of that gap, with the latest figures from the census bureau showing a $345 billion trade deficit with China in 2018.

2. Rotten Apple: European Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor (DLGNF) warned Monday that its fourth quarter sales will be at the bottom of the range it gave in October.

It's the latest sign that weak iPhone sales in China are having an effect on Apple (AAPL) suppliers that rely on the tech giant for orders.

Apple warned earlier this month that it would miss its sales target for the last quarter of 2018 by at least $5 billion, because of slower than expected sales in the world's second largest economy.

Dialog Semiconductor shares listed in Frankfurt increased 2.8% despite the warning.

3. Detroit Auto Show: The United States' preeminent auto show kicks off Monday in Detroit, and a slew of hot cars are expected to make their debuts.

The biggest industry news may come on Tuesday, however, when Ford (F) and Volkswagen (VLKAF) are expected to formalize their widely expected partnership.

Ford plans to spend $11 billion on new technologies and reshaping the focus of the company in the next three to five years. Finding someone to share those kinds of costs with will be crucial to its success.

4. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing lower.

European markets opened down, following a negative trading session in Asia.

The Dow was flat on Friday, ending its five-day winning streak. The S&P 500 was little changed and the Nasdaq closed 0.2% lower.

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5. Earnings and economics: Citigroup (C) will release earnings before the open. It's the first big American bank to report this earnings season.

6. Coming this week:
Monday — Citigroup earnings
Tuesday — JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Delta and United earnings
Wednesday — Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and BlackRock (BLK) earnings
Thursday — American Express (AXP) and Netflix (NFLX) report earnings

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the producer price inflation reports were scheduled for Monday.

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