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Apple warns China slowdown — here are 20 stocks to avoid

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Apple ChinaChinese clients visit the Apple Store to purchase Apple products in Hong Kong Kowloon District on August 03 2018 in Hong Kong.S3studio/Marcio Rodrigo Machado/Getty Images

  • Apple just lowered its first-quarter revenue guidance and blamed its sales slump at least partially on a slowdown in China
  • Shares were down more than 9% Thursday.
  • The tech giant’s warning indicated that companies with heavy exposure to China are facing headwinds
  • Goldman Sachs filtered 20 stocks that get the biggest percentage of their revenue from China.

Apple shares were under pressure Thursday after the tech giant lowered its first-quarter revenue guidance and blamed slumping iPhone sales on a slowdown in China. 

“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter after Wednesday’s closing bell, sending Apple stock down more than 9%.

And it’s not just Apple that’s seeing weakness. The country’s economic slowdown is visible in the data. During the third quarter, China’s GDP grew at its weakest pace in a decade. And in December, China’s private-manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in 19 months.

The macroeconomic slowdown in China and Apple’s sales weakness are due to many related factors, according to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst William Stein.

“These factors include: (1) US tariffs appear to be negatively impacting consumer confidence in China, (2) higher USD is likely denting demand in emerging economies, (3) competitive forces (both nationalistic and otherwise) from local vendors, particularly Huawei (private), may be triggering share loss away from AAPL, and (4) handset upgrade cycles may be slowing more than previously anticipated,” he said in a note out to clients on Thursday. 

While it’s hard to determine which factor has had the biggest impact, most of them indicate companies with heavy exposure to China are facing headwinds

Luckily for investors, Goldman Sachs maintains an index of US companies that get the largest percentage of their revenue from China. The firm filtered the 20 companies it thinks will take the biggest hit when the environment is unfavorable for trade between the US and China.  

Here are the 20 companies that Goldman listed, in an order from sales least exposed to China to the most. (Goldman published the list in late October)

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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