Surprise, surprise. AAPL has miraculously popped to 213.00 this evening, exceeding by 13 cents a 212.77 target first noted here weeks ago. This Hidden Pivot has been in play since April 1, when the stock was trading for around 190. Like virtually all significant rallies in the stock, and in most others, the move was driven almost entirely by short covering on volume-less, after-hours trading. Panicky, dim-witted bears are the best thing AAPL’s institutional handlers have going for them, accomplishing in mere minutes what mere bullish buying could not have accomplished in months. The wilding spree of the last seven weeks has also helped to obliterate any concerns about iPhone’s pronounced sales slowdown in the U.S. and in China, Apple’s second largest market.
Nor do investors seem concerned that the company’s answer to weakening sales is to plunge deeper into the hyper-competitive entertainment world with streaming content. Profit margins from this business are unlikely to equal those achieved selling overpriced iPhones — but again, who cares? We’ll back away from the stock for now, since the put options we might have bought if the stock had reached the target during regular business hours won’t begin to trade until morning, when the surprise has worn off. _______ UPDATE (May 1, 9:40 p.m.): Today’s thrust above an ‘external peak at 210 recorded last November has created yet another impulse leg, refreshing the bullish energy of the daily chart. This implies that any pullback of less than $25 should be seen as corrective and thus a buying opportunity for a shot at new record highs. _______UPDATE (May 8, 8:49 p.m.): AAPL looks bound for 197.12, a target shown in this chart. It is appealing despite the lack of a true impulse leg. Please note that a print slightly below the target, at 196.20, would generate a bearish impulse leg on the daily chart — the first since December. _______ UPDATE (May 9, 9:04 p.m.): The stock plummeted $6 in the first hour, then turned and surged $5.02. This occurred after AAPL bottomed 44 cents below the 197.12 target sent out to subscribers Wednesday night. Several of them reported they had used the target to get long near the intraday low. Although I did not establish a tracking position, I did provide timely guidance in the trading room shortly before 1:00 p.m.