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U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, weighed by a drop in the technology sector after Apple Inc’s rare sales warning inflamed fears that the Sino-U.S. trade war and a slowing China economy would eat into corporate profits more than expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 318.89 points, or 1.37 per cent, shortly after the open to 23,027.35.

The S&P 500 was lower by 25.70 points, or 1 per cent, at 2,484.52. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 91.19 points, or 1.37 per cent, to 6,572.80.

Canada’s main stock index opened lower on Thursday, led down by technology stocks, after Apple Inc’s sales warning fueled worries about slowing global corporate earnings growth.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 87.48 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 14,259.68.

Tech shares fell 1.7 per cent, health care stocks fell 0.9 per cent and energy stocks were down 0.3 per cent. Shopify was down 3 per cent, BlackBerry fell 2.3 per cent, Aurora Cannabis dipped 3 per cent and Maxar was off 4.5 per cent.

Apple’s shares sank 9.3 per cent at the open after the company slashed its holiday-quarter revenue forecast on slowing iPhone sales in China, the first major warning with the U.S. earnings season around the corner.

“Apple reiterates worries that China and trade issues have not been resolved,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist, senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

“People are worried that if a big name such as Apple has to report a decline in earnings, who else can be protected from something like that.”

The warning from Apple, whose stock is a member of all the three major Wall Street indexes, rocked financial markets, as investors sought safety in bonds and less risky assets.

Apple’s slide is a gloomy omen for Wall Street bulls hoping for an early gift in 2019 following December’s steep selloff.

Though the selloff has made stocks cheaper, with the S&P 500’s valuation now at 14 times expected earnings from 18 times a year earlier, earnings estimates have also been sharply cut.

Analysts on average expect S&P 500 companies to increase their earnings per share by nearly 7 per cent this year, down from a forecast of 10 percent at the start of October and far below their expectations of 24 per cent EPS growth for 2018, according to Refinitiv’s IBES.

Apple’s warning on China has the potential to weigh heavily on a wide variety of companies, ranging from its suppliers to firms that rely on China for a major portion of their sales.

Chipmakers, which count both Apple and China as major customers, led the decliners with Intel Corp, Micron Technology Inc and Nvidia Corp falling between 3 per cent and 4 per cent.

Trade bellwethers Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc dropped nearly 2 per cent or more.

Apple’s warning follows data earlier this week that showed a deceleration in factory activity in China and the euro zone, indicating the ongoing trade dispute was taking a toll on global manufacturing.

The impact on U.S. activity will be clear later in the day. The Institute of Supply Management is expected to report its index of national factory activity fell to a reading of 57.9 in December from 59.3 in November.

However, U.S. futures pared some losses after the ADP National Employment Report showed private sector jobs rose far more than expected in December.

Among other stocks, Celgene Corp jumped 29 per cent after Bristol-Myers Squibb Co offered to buy the drugmaker for about US$74-billion in a cash-and-stock deal. Bristol-Myers fell nearly 12 per cent.

With files from Reuters

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