Finimize - 🏆 Samsung beat Apple

Apple lost its handle on the global stage | Nickel and aluminium prices scrubbed up |
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Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for April 16th in 3:11 minutes.

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Today's big stories

  1. Apple’s iPhone sales sat last quarter out, leaving room for Samsung and Xiaomi to storm the field
  2. Analysts don’t have high hopes for every sector this earnings season – Read Now
  3. Aluminum and nickel prices were reinforced after the US and UK banned Russian metals

Blow Your Top

Blow Your Top

What’s going on here?

Apple shipped 10% fewer iPhones last quarter than the same time last year, leaving the number-one spot wide open.

What does this mean?

Total global smartphone shipments increased by 8% last quarter from the same time last year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). The iPhone was far from the bestseller, though, with shipments falling to just over 50 million units, pushing Apple’s market share down from 21% a year ago to 17%. So even though Samsung’s sales were basically flat, the brand took back the top spot from Apple. Meanwhile, Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi increased its market share from 11% to 14%, landing at the bronze spot on the podium.

Why should I care?

Zooming in: Apple’s being tested.

Traders will hardly be surprised by that data. It’s been big news that the iPhone is losing ground in China, with local brands winning the country’s customers over. Mind you, the Chinese government might’ve done its bit to help, banning employees in government agencies and state-owned companies from using foreign devices in the workplace. Even with all that in the background, though, Apple’s share price has picked up a little lately. Of course, any optimism will be tested on May 2nd, when Apple releases its earnings and provides guidance for the quarter ahead, as well.

The bigger picture: AI fixes everything.

That said, there are a few reasons why investors might be expecting a turnaround. The news that Apple is working on a new high-tech chip for its MacBooks got investors excited about the potential of integrated AI solutions, and that showed in the share price. More details should come out at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Plus, the next iPhone – slated for a launch in September – is speculated to have AI features that could be capable of creating a buzz among tech investors once again.

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Analyst Take

What To Expect This Earning Season, From Big Tech To Big Banks

What To Expect This Earning Season, From Big Tech To Big Banks
Photo of Reda Farran, CFA

Reda Farran, CFA, Analyst

Forget anniversaries, after-work drinks, or vacations. Earnings season is the event that investors really clear their calendars for.

So let’s take a look at what analysts are expecting before the final results roll in, so you can be as prepared as possible.

That’s today’s Insight: where analysts expect to see fortune and failure this earnings season.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Nickel And Climb

Nickel And Climb

What’s going on here?

Aluminum and nickel prices picked up after the US and UK imposed a ban on Russian metals.

What does this mean?

Russia churns out a ton of sought-after metals. In fact, 36% of the nickel, 62% of the copper, and 91% of the aluminum stored in the London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses are from Russia. That’s big: the LME sets metal prices around the globe. So when the US and UK banned new metal deliveries from Russia to the LME late on Friday, investors initially sent aluminum prices up by a record 9.4% on Monday when markets reopened, while pushing nickel 8.8% higher too. That’s because less of Russia’s metal will reach Western markets, forcing them to plug the gap with more desirable – and therefore, pricier – metals from other regions.

Why should I care?

For markets: Talk about a hot commodity.

Commodity prices are up 15% this year and 178% since their pandemic lows. On top of rising industrial metal prices, precious metals like gold and silver have seen double-digit price increases this year, as have energy commodities like crude oil and gasoline. There’s a laundry list of reasons why, including supply chain disruptions, heightened geopolitical risks, a strengthening manufacturing sector that’s hungry for raw materials, and the number of investors flocking to tangible assets now that interest rate cuts are looking less certain. That’s fueling speculation of another commodity supercycle, when prices stay much higher for longer.

For you personally: Portfolios need reinforcements.

Higher commodity prices feed into inflation, reducing the likelihood of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates anytime soon. And because stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies have benefited from expectations of a trim, they could take a knock if that doesn’t materialize. So popping commodities into a portfolio could protect it from that risk – although if the current climate turns into a recession, commodity prices would likely end up in the dumps, too.

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Get Your Name Out There

Bitcoin’s “halving” event – which slices the reward that miners earn – is now just a few days away. Historically, the once-every-four-years event has sent the crypto's price higher. This time, though, traders think it could backfire for miners.

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🎯 On Our Radar

1. Grab the keys and pack the snacks. Check out the best road trips around the world.

2. Women are still paid less than men on average. That makes it harder for them to keep up with investments – but where there’s a will, there’s a way.*

3. The US government has problems. Microsoft made the list.

4. AI might be savvy, but it's far from infallible. If you want to invest with the tech, make sure you do it right.**

5. A lot of factors can break a friendship. Forget money and business, Taylor Swift is getting in the way of relationships.

**See Streetbeat's disclosures.

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