The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) dipped on Monday, down 0.3% at 2:30 p.m. EST. There was no news on the trade war front, but new tariffs are set to take effect in less than a week if some sort of deal isn't reached.
Dragging down the Dow on Monday was Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which is heavily exposed to potential tariffs on smartphones and other electronic devices. Meanwhile, shares of Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) were able to hold their ground as the company announced a new quantum chip.
Tariff deadline looms for Apple
On Dec. 15, barring a delay or other development, the U.S. will begin levying a 15% tariff on around $160 billion of Chinese products that are currently untouched by the ongoing trade war. These products include smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices.
That's bad news for Apple, which still makes most of its money selling iPhones and other devices. Apple stock was down 1.4% Monday as investors braced themselves for the next chapter in the trade war.
How bad could it get for Apple? Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives sees a potential 4% hit to per-share earnings in fiscal 2020 if the tariffs are enacted, although Ives also sees a good chance that Apple will get some sort of exemption.
Ives expects the tariff situation to linger over the stock until some sort of deal is reached, but he emphasized that the bull thesis for Apple, which includes growth in the services business, remains unchanged.
If the tariffs do take effect, Apple might choose to absorb them at the expense of its bottom line. Another option would be to pass some or all of the increased costs on to consumers, but that could have a serious negative effect on demand. And because the iPhone is at the center of Apple's ecosystem, lower iPhone sales could have a cascading effect on sales of other products, like AirPods, the Apple Watch, and the company's various services.
A deal could still be reached before the deadline, but time is quickly running out.
Intel unveils quantum chip
It may be years or even decades before quantum computing is widely used for commercial applications. By exploiting the bizarre and counterintuitive properties of the subatomic realm, quantum computers can perform certain types of calculations exponentially faster than traditional computers.
That's the promise, at least. The reality is that quantum computing is still in its infancy, and problems like error correction and the stability of the underlying quantum bits remain major challenges that must be overcome.
Intel, one of many large tech companies working on quantum computing, announced a cryogenic control chip on Monday that aims to improve the ability to control multiple quantum bits. The chip is called Horse Ridge, and it promises to reduce the complexity of quantum systems by eliminating the need for masses of connective wiring to control each individual quantum bit. Such a chip could help scale quantum computers and accelerate their adoption.
Intel stock was up 0.05% Monday, although the rise could have little to do with the quantum computing news.