A white flag featuring a gold Apple Inc. logo hangs above the main entrance to the newly refurbished Apple Inc. store (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

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Apple cuts outlook after demand from China slows, U.S. stocks start 2019 with a modest rebound, and manufacturing around the world is showing signs of slowing. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.

Apple Cuts Outlook on China

Apple Inc. lowered its outlook for fiscal first-quarter revenue after an unexpected slowdown in demand from China and fewer upgrades to iPhone models. The company now expects revenue of about $84 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 29, CEO Tim Cook said in a letter to investors Wednesday. Analysts had been forecasting $91.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Apple shares fell 7 percent in extended trading after the announcement. They have fallen 32 percent from an October peak amid growing concerns about the iPhone — by far Apple’s most important product line, comprising more than 60 percent of its 2018 revenue.

U.S. Stocks Start New Year in the Green

U.S. stocks started the new year with a modest rebound from the worst December rout since the Depression. Oil rallied as Saudi Arabia cut exports. The S&P 500 Index ended an up-and-down session higher by three points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain and the Nasdaq climbed. Banks rallied, and energy producers surged on the Saudi news. Stocks with high dividend yields fell the most as the 10-year Treasury yield tumbled. Equities started the day lower on poor sentiment sparked by a weak reading on Chinese manufacturing, which added to concern that global growth is slowing. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. stock market suffered “ a little glitch” in December and that it would go up once he negotiates trade deals with China and others.

U.S. Mum on China Trade Concessions

U.S. government officials are publicly withholding judgment on China’s efforts to ease trade tensions ahead of talks next week, raising the prospect that Beijing’s latest economic-reform announcements won’t go far enough to satisfy Trump’s demands. China in recent weeks has announced steps to open up its economy, but they mostly fall short of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s demands for big structural changes on alleged forced technology transfers and theft of intellectual property, analysts said. “The Chinese have done nothing along the lines of what he says he wants — fundamental reform,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

Factory Freeze

Manufacturing gauges across the world’s largest economies stumbled at the end of last year, starting 2019 with fresh challenges for global growth and central banks. The global manufacturing index from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and IHS Markit fell in December to the lowest level since September 2016 as measures of orders and hiring weakened, data showed Wednesday. That followed other IHS Markit reports showing that factory conditions slumped across Asia’s most export-oriented economies, with China’s signaling contraction for the first time since mid-2017 as Taiwan, Malaysia and South Korea also point to declines. Factory growth in the euro area fell to the lowest in almost three years. In the U.S., evidence is mounting that Trump’s trade war is becoming a greater headwind for producers. Five Federal Reserve indexes of regional manufacturing all slumped in December, the first time they’ve fallen in unison since May 2016.

A ‘Great Letter’

Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent him a “great letter” and that the two men would like to meet for a second time. “We’ve really established a very good relationship,’’ Trump said Wednesday during a cabinet meeting at the White House, a day after Kim threatened to backtrack on promises to give up his nuclear arsenal if the U.S. doesn’t relax sanctions against the country. Trump said there would have been a “big fat war in Asia” if he hadn’t met with Kim in Singapore last year, and that “they really want to do something” to reduce tensions between the countries. But he added that he’s “not in any rush” to hold a second meeting.

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