For as long as it has been successful, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock doesn’t get the respect it deserves, especially under Tim Cook. I am guilty of it too, but unlike the naysayers, I set my personal feelings aside and I trade it from the long side. Yes, I said it. I trade AAPL stock, I don’t own it. There is nothing wrong with doing that, because the investment methods depend on individual time frames and investor goals.
Recently, the opinions on mega-cap stocks have become very bifurcated. There is a political move to break them up. Politicians are using companies like Apple, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to win votes.
Regardless of their intentions, the headlines from the legislators caused a crash in the largest technology companies on the planet. Usually AAPL stock is not included, but this time it was also singled out for its app store fairness of competition.
This was the straw that broke the AAPL’s back. It was already burdened with the threats from its China businesses. Recently Goldman Sachs scared investors by citing their estimate that Apple can take a 29% hit to its earnings from the economic war with China.
How Does AAPL Stock Look Going Forward
To me this was ridiculous and disproportionate to Apple’s total sales in China. Maybe it was blissful ignorance on my part, but I bought the dip by selling puts at the lows and also bought calls. Since then, the stock rallied 13%, so I am basically long AAPL stock for free going into its next earnings report.
The opportunity is over? No. Apple still has more upside and maybe even the chance to set new all-time highs. I know this statement will draw chuckles, but only time will tell.
First the fundamental foundation to support my thesis.
Apple is cheap, as it sells at a 16x trailing price-to-earnings ratio. This is well below that of GOOGL or FB stock, so there is very little froth. Moreover, the stock just fell into support, and that also becomes more solid footing for the next few weeks. These two serve as a the strong base that the bulls need to attack the neckline.
Let’s look at the levels that matter for this write up. The fall of 2018 was devastating to AAPL, but the 2019 bounce was phenomenal. What’s interesting is that the correction we just had ended at exactly the .618 Fibonacci level. Machines know exactly where to buy stocks at the expense of the retail investors who panic on tough days.
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If the Apple bulls can continue the bounce to recover the whole thing and reach the ledge from which they fell in May, they will have the chance to launch a massive move to take out the highs.
So the opportunity here is two fold. The first is that there still is time to ride this rebound. The second is more exciting, because when the price exceeds $215 per share, the rally will kick into overdrive. This would constitute a breach of a neckline to launch a couple of bullish patterns. The easiest to see is a cup-and-handle-ish pattern where with $30 to $50 potential rally from the neckline. I could also argue that the price action is unfolding in an abc-like pattern where the third leg is only one third done.
Either way I look at it, if the bulls on Wall Street retain the reins for the next few weeks, Apple stock has a legitimate shot at setting new highs. If not, at least drop a few jaws along the way. If the politicians spoil this party then I have to consider that below $170, AAPL stock would risk retesting the 2019 lows.
Before you classify me as a perma-bull for the Apple stock, I have been on record with my displeasure with Tim Cook’s leadership. He inherited a gem and he is ruining it. Experts often point to the market cap that he has created for investors but I argue that the whole market is up and at or near all-time highs. Apple is nowhere near its high mark. Furthermore, he borrowed over $100 billion to buy back stock to achieve this financial engineering marvel.
Sure, great things happened under Tim Cook’s rule, but I bet they would have happened even without a replacement leader. AAPL stock had enough momentum going after Steve Jobs that it would have continued its trajectory without its current leader.
I hear him often defend his record on innovation by pointing out the new things he’s accomplished. If he needs to point them out, they are probably not innovations.
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