AAPL remains in thrall to madmen, mountebanks and child molesters, although this determined crew could run out of room to manipulate the stock moonward very shortly. The Cupertino firm’s shares rose $10 on Thursday, settling at 472.83 and adding a total of $40 billion of ‘wealth’ to the net worth of Switzerland and, probably, every homeowner within three blocks of Malibu beach. From here it’s no more than a three-day climb to 490.97, a potentially important rally target that Rick’s Picks subscribers have been using to suspend disbelief as Apple’s valuation climbed toward, and now above, the $2 trillion mark. Analysts say the manufacturer’s smartphones and computers are selling well, but of course they’d have to be selling very well indeed for the firm to rack up the highest valuation of any company in the history of the world.
Looking ahead to the inevitable, there’s a limit to how high AAPL can go, and this will necessarily place a limit on how high the stock market itself can go. The Dow Industrials gained a paltry 47 points on Thursday, a divergence in relation to the lunatic stocks — AMZN, CMG, FB, GOOG, MSFT and NFLX — that will grow increasingly worrisome if it persists. No one seems to have noticed it yet, but if and when they do, investors’ damn-the-torpedoes attitude is certain to prove far more fragile than it now appears.