AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:439.88)

Apple’s after-hours dive has overshot our 461.64 target by more than $4 — presumably enough to imply that an alternative target at 447.55 is likely to be achieved.  That’s a back-up-the-truck spot for buyers as far as I’m concerned, but there’s always the risk that AAPL will turn rabidly higher from somewhere above it. To avoid missing the opportunity, camouflageurs should use the one-minute chart (see inset) to identify a serviceable pattern with an ‘x’ entry trigger. For your guidance, I’ve labeled just such a pattern to show you how subtle that signal might be.  ______ UPDATE (10:35 a.m. EST):  Sophisticated algorithms aside, the sleazeballs who work this stock clearly rely on round numbers to ply their dubious trade. In this case, they have turned AAPL higher from $450, since the next stop would have needed to be $400.  This tactic proved pre-emptive of my $447 target, but not by much.  As a practical matter, we’ve given up on the idea of bottom-fishing with camouflage this morning, since ostensibly tradable patterns on the one-minute chart were yielding entry risk of close to $2 per share. We had been prepared to accept risk closer to about 20 cents per share. _______ UPDATE (January 24 at 8:09 p.m. EST):  In after-hours trading Thursday night, AAPL has traded down to 447.36, but there has been no bounce to speak of — only an uptick to 448.03.  Under the circumstances, the 447.36 bottom must be regarded as extremely fragile.  If you are long based on the tout, deploy a stop-loss at 447.19 until such time as 454.51 is hit. (That would generate a bullish impulse leg on the lesser charts and provide some breathing room.) Take a partial profit there, but save some shares so that you can swing for the fences with at least a small portion of the original position. Camouflageurs may have done nothing yet, but if the urge to bottom-fish hits, look for your entry opportunity on the three-minute chart or less.  I’ve refreshed the chart to show why, if 447.55 gives way, AAPL should be presumed bound for 438.66 — or if things get really ugly, to 403.33. _______ UPDATE (January 25 at 11:04 a.m. EST): AAPL rallied $9 from the 447.36 low, providing an excellent profit-taking opportunity, but the stock subsequently relapsed to a so far low of 444.18.  The upswing part of the morning was a sleazy, short-squeeze distribution on the opening bars, suggesting DaBoyz are getting quite desperate.  The 438.66 target is in play right now, but a 446.92 print would turn the one-minute chart bullishly impulsive.  I’ll wait till I hear from subscribers in the chat room before I establish tracking guidance, since AAPL’s wild swings would have produced very different results for each trader.  _______ UPDATE (January 28, 1:50 a.m. EST): I’ve refreshed the chart to show one further, bearish possibility now that all targets on the  lesser charts have been exhausted. The pattern points to 395.27 as a possible major low, and although the AB impulse leg has surpassed only a single ‘external’ low of weekly-chart degree, its comeliness otherwise deserves our serious consideration.  Alternatively, please note that it would take but a 456.24 print today [or Tuesday] to turn the hourly chart decisively bullish.

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