Apple and Starbucks chiefs step in to ease market fears

Amid this week’s stock market volatility the chief executives of two of he biggest corporations in the United States have waded into the fray to shore up their firms’ shares.

On Monday morning, Apple’s Tim Cook stepped in to halt a 13 per cent slide in its shares that erased more than US$75 billion its market value.

The shares recovered soon after CNBC’s Wall Street commentator Jim Cramer shared an email from Mr Cook assuring investors that his company is still doing well in China.

“I get updates on our performance in China every day, including this morning, and I can tell you that we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August,” Mr Cook wrote.

Meanwhile, Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz, in a memo to the chain’s 190,000 employees reportedly told baristas at its outlets “to be especially sensitive to the customers asking them for a cup of joe”, the Washington Post said.

The memo was sent to reassure employees that the turmoil in the financial markets won’t affect the company’s growth plans.

“Today’s financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer confidence and perhaps even our customers’ attitudes and behaviour,” Mr Schultz said in the memo, according to Bloomberg reports. “Our customers are likely to experience an increased level of anxiety and concern. Please recognise this and – as you always have – remember that our success is not an entitlement, but something we need to earn, every day.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged more than 5 per cent on Monday morning, following declines overseas. But the market began to rebound over the course of the day, pulling back from the brink of the S&P 500’s first correction in almost four years. Starbucks shares tumbled as much as 20 per cent before recovering.

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