Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty noted that investor fears that a further escalation in the U.S. trade fight would result in meaningfully weaker iPhone demand from Chinese consumers pushed Apple shares down 12% over the course of two weeks in May. However, she points out in a new note to investors that recent data from Jiguang, a push-messaging service provider, shows May marked the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year smartphone installed base share gains for Apple in China. Given the generally weak China demand environment late last year, and the investor fears of a dramatic drop-off in near-term iPhone demand, Huberty calls the Jiguang info a "constructive data point," adding that she thinks iPhone price cuts, greater usage of financing, lower VAT taxes and improved Chinese consumer confidence are all contributing to "surprisingly stable demand trends" there for Apple. Huberty keeps an Overweight rating on Apple with a $231 price target.
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Spotify (SPOT) shares are falling in afternoon trading after Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw and Mark Gurman reported that Apple (AAPL) plans to fund original, exclusive podcasts to increase competition with Spotify and Stitcher. Apple executives have reached out to media companies to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts, the report added. In afternoon trading following the report, Spotify shares have dipped 2% to $151.03.