Lending Association

Tales of the tech giant: Apple slides, Microsoft surges, Tesla’s on a rollercoaster

It’s a factoid that means little, but tells a big, big story about the direction of investing in the global tech giants.

The story is about three of the so-called Mag 7 stocks (Apple, Microsoft and Tesla).

Apple shares are down 7% this year as at Friday’s close which has seen it cede the title of the world’s most valuable company to Microsoft whose shares are up more than 15% so far this year.

Apple’s slide has seen its market cap drop to $US2.66 billion at Friday’s close while Microsoft’s closing value on Friday of $US3.19 billion was the highest ever for an end of week for any company.

The difference between the two was $US535 billion – which was around the entire market value of Tesla at Friday’s close of $US535.

Tesla shares have dropped sharply so far in 2024, down 31% thanks to fears about weak sales, price wars in China and Elon Musk’s oddities – talk of drug talking (partially confirmed by him with the admission that he takes ketamine), not to mention his increasingly odd political and social views, and the continuing problems at X (formerly Twitter).

And then there are the production cuts which emerged from China on Friday. Tesla has cut operating hours at its huge Shanghai EV plant which can produce around 950,000 vehicles a year. The reason – reportedly – slow sales in the Chinese domestic market where price cutting is getting more intense.

Apple shares have fallen because of the investigation and claims against it by US government regulators, fears about the strength of sales in China, weak sales outside that country of some key products and the abandonment of its electric vehicle program, though that is seen by most analysts as a positive.

Microsoft though has seen strong sales and earnings – its big in AI and wants to get bigger, while Apple seems to be lagging behind but is talking to Alphabet about using its technology in the iPhone.