Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:
) are trading down roughly one percent this morning after
Foxconn, the company's chief manufacturer, announced that it will
not hire any new employees this month. According to
, the hiring freeze was caused by an influx of employees that
returned after the Chinese New Year break. More people came back
to work than in previous years, providing Foxconn with too many
Investors were initially startled by the news and caused Apple
to drop 1.9 percent. Shares have rebounded slightly after the
realization that this hiring freeze may be cyclical. Foxconn told
Bloomberg that it will begin recruiting again at the end of
March. The company also claims that the hiring freeze has nothing
to do with production of the iPhone 5, shooting down rumors that
production was slowing down.
Even if Apple completely recovers from today's loss, the stock
may still continue to struggle. The Mac maker is one of the most
troubled companies on Wall Street this year, dropping more than
16 percent year-to-date.
Comparatively, Microsoft (NASDAQ:
) is up more than 1.5 percent, Oracle (NASDAQ:
) is up two percent, Amazon (NASDAQ:
) is up nearly five percent and Google (NASDAQ:
) is up 11.5 percent year-to-date.
), still widely considered to be one of the hottest stocks in
technology, is up more than 22 percent year-to-date. Dell
) is performing even better, rising nearly 30 percent since the
On the other end of the spectrum, investors will find Nokia
), which is down more than four percent year-to-date.
This is not the first time that Foxconn has triggered a
response from investors. Last year the manufacturer sparked some
controversy when it was revealed that a riot
at one of its plants. The plant was reopened
within 48 hours
but many feared that it could cause a delay in production of the
iPhone 5, Apple's latest smartphone.
Production issues -- due to component supplies, consumer
demand and other issues -- represent one of the biggest concerns
for investors. If anything stops a record-breaking number of
iPhones and iPads from hitting store shelves every quarter,
investors worry that it could be a sign that the company is
losing its advantage at retail.
Regardless of these concerns, the company continues to post
, satisfying all but the harshest analysts -- and the most
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