Finance Finance News ‘Celebgate’ hits Apple stock

‘Celebgate’ hits Apple stock

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Claims that the celebrity hacking scandal were not related to the security of its iCloud storage product have not spared Apple shares the wrath of Wall Street.

Apple sank by more than 4 per cent, its worst percentage drop since late-January, amid news that hackers had stolen intimate photos from celebrity iPhone users from its iCloud system.

Analysts also cited profit-taking ahead of an expected new iPhone launch September 9 and expectations that the company will also unveil a smartwatch next week.

“Unless next week’s event details massive incremental profit opportunities, we are likely to downgrade (Apple’s) rating,” Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves said in an article published by Reuters.

• iCloud ‘not breached’ in nude celeb hack
• Criticism of actresses ‘worse than hacking’

US stocks have finished mixed as weakness in Apple and some other technology stocks offset hopes for a resolution to the Ukraine conflict.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday gained 10.72 points (0.06 per cent) to 17,078.28.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.56 (0.08 per cent) to 2,000.72, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 25.62 (0.56 per cent) to 4,572.57.

Nasdaq members Priceline (-1.6 per cent) and Facebook (-1.1 per cent) also fell.

Analysts said market sentiment was lifted by news of a potential peace plan for Ukraine between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

However, US President Barack Obama said it is “too early to tell” if the agreement will hold up.

Delta Air Lines dropped 5.2 per cent as it lowered its projection for third-quarter passenger unit revenue. American Airlines fell 3.4 per cent and United Continental lost 1.9 per cent.

Pharmacy chain CVS jumped 0.8 per cent as it announced that it had stopped selling tobacco products a month ahead of schedule, and renamed itself CVS Health.

Defence and aerospace company General Dynamics gained 1.9 per cent following a STG3.5 billion ($A6.4 billion) contract award by the British government for almost 600 new armoured vehicles.

Dow component Home Depot declined for a second straight day, this time by 2.4 per cent, after it said it was investigating a possible attempt to hack its computer systems that may have targeted customer data.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.41 per cent from 2.42 per cent on Tuesday, while the 30-year dipped to 3.16 per cent from 3.17 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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