>> Apple getting squeezed again Thursday. The stock dropping over 2%, threatening Apple's position as the world's most valuable public company as it briefly handed that title back to Google's parent Alphabet. Apple stock closed just above the psychologically important $90 mark after dipping below it for the first time in nearly two years.
Reuters market correspondent Noel Randewich.>> Again, the source of the trouble is Asia, and reports coming from analysts and supply chain people there saying that they're expecting fewer orders from Apple for iPhones in the second half of the year. When you talk about iPhone orders for the second half of the year, what you are really talking about is orders for components for the new iPhone that Apple has yet to launch.
>> That new iPhone could be the iPhone 7. Apple typically sees sales spike after September launches of their flagship product. Thursday, Taiwan's Foxconn and major iPhone assembler reported that profits dropped over 9% in the first quarter, mirroring the first ever quarterly iPhone sales drop. Sharp, the Japanese display maker which relies on Apple's orders, posted an operating loss of $1.5 billion for the year ending in March, tripling the previous year's loss.
And Foxconn, which is taking over Sharp, is now planning to lay off 3,000 employees, according to a Reuters report. Apple stock has been under siege after its poor first quarter earnings. Other bad news such as iTunes movies and iBooks getting shut down in China, and activist investor, Carl Icahn, dumbing all of his Apple shares, mainly on concerns over its reliance on the China market has also hurt the stock.
Tim Cook may be looking to soothe those concerns. According to a Reuters report, he's planning a trip to China later this month.