First - the WSJ report stinks of manipulation: It's a unnamed source. It assumes weak sales but doesn't consider a great holiday qtr sales combined with a new iphone5s coming in March - which would alter components. It comes on Sunday night...during the 2 weeks prior to earnings during apples quiet period.
What will Apple do if it can't issue news? Remember that $45B authorized for buybacks. It could easily take about $5b of that today and buy back up to 10mill shares around $500. I think we stay above $500 the entire day with Apple doing the bulk of the buying at $500. We can confirm when they release the #share out...if they come in around 925mill then you know they were successful.
It's going to be an ugly morning (never touching 499 after 9:30) but I think we start settling around 515 by 1pm and then flatline the rest of the day.
I'd agree on your range till earnings. This seems similar to when the iphone5 was released in China. Reports of low demand, etc, etc. When apple finalyl provided the results...they smashed records. This will be Apple's best iphone qtr by 10mill units. Adding in all of the other new products and this is going to be a huge qtr....I think we crush the earnings numbers...revenue expectations of $53b will be tough but I think it will beat there as well.