Apple jumps, leading technology shares higher as tariff threat to iPhones on hold for now

  • Apple shares jump after the U.S. and China reached a trade cease-fire, just as concern was ratcheting up that the iPhone maker would be next to be entangled in the trade dispute.
  • Shares of chipmakers including Nvidia and Micron also jumped.
  • Fears of tariffs had helped send Apple shares lower by more than 20 percent since the start of October, causing it last week to lose its crown as the largest company by market value to Microsoft.

Apple shares jumped Monday after the U.S. and China reached a trade cease-fire, just as concern was ratcheting up that the iPhone maker would be next to be entangled in the trade dispute.

Apple gained 1.8 percent on the week's first day of trading after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on additional tariffs on each other's goods at the start of the new year to allow for talks to continue for 90 days. The U.S. agreed to leave tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese products at 10 percent, instead of raising the rate to 25 percent, as threatened.

So far, iPhones have been exempt from tariffs, but the U.S. has said it would apply the taxes on the rest of Chinese exports to the U.S., which would include the iPhone and other tech products.

Trump last week specifically raised the option of a 10 percent tariff on iPhones and laptops.

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"Under this hypothetical 'third round' of tariffs, a majority of all U.S. hardware revenue today – including smartphones, laptops, servers, etc. – would become subject to a 10 percent import duty, due to the China-centric nature of modern tech hardware supply chains," wrote Toni Sacconaghi, Bernstein technology analyst. "Within our coverage, Apple and HPQ are most exposed; we estimate that such wide-ranging tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. would impact 28 percent of Apple's revenues today, and 25 percent of HPQ's revenues."

Fears of tariffs had helped send Apple shares lower by more than 20 percent since the start of October, causing it last week to lose its crown as the largest company by market value to Microsoft.

Shares of chipmakers including Nvidia and Micron also jumped in premarket trading Monday on relief from the pause in the trade war. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2 percent.