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THE ONE CHART THAT SCARES ME

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THE ONE CHART THAT SCARES ME

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Apple has had done a remarkable job during the credit crisis of 2008.  The company navigated one of the most treacherous times in consumer spending with innovative product placement and perfect product pricing.  But the ride hasn’t exactly been smooth for Apple shareholders.  After leading a 5 year parabolic rise in tech the precipitous fall last September sent tech stocks tanking.   Apple has become the leader of all high beta names.  And as we all know by now, beta is where the momentum junkys play.  They can control the near-term price movements of the entire market.

The biggest problem with Apple is that it now represents over 13% of the Nasdaq 100 – arguably a more important index these days than the Nasdaq itself.  What does this mean?  It means Apple’s trading will essentially drag tech and the Nasdaq 100 around by the nose.   In addition, Apple’s recent surge isn’t coming off of an oversold based like we saw back in March.  The most recent price surge is driven almost entirely by speculation and rally chasers as opposed to the bargain hunters we saw in March and April.  This makes Apple shares highly susceptible to quick downside movements as momentum players bail out of high beta names for safer assets.

The recent parabolic rise in Apple shares have not only brought the stock near its all-time highs, but makes for an incredibly overbought and expensive stock at 25 times next years eanrings, 29 times last year earnings and a PEG ratio of 1.65.  Apple currently sits 15% above its 50 day moving average and is up 85% year to date.   Those are uncomfortable numbers for someone like myself who is a firm believer in mean reversion.  Apple’s upward trajectory is simply unsustainable despite what technicians might tell you about “relative strength”.  More importantly though, if Apple were to take a near-term nosedive it’s not unlikely that it would take the entire tech sector with it – and that’s not something this summer rally can afford to happen.

aapl chart

 

 


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