Index futures were wafting higher Tuesday night, evidently unfazed by mounting evidence that coronavirus has already slowed the pace of global economic growth significantly. Such worries as occupy investors’ tiny, fevered brains these days centered on Apple, the most valuable company in the world. (I don’t count Aramco because, well, who cares that it’s actually bigger?) The Cupertino manufacturer of egregiously overpriced cellphones and accessories, and of late an aspirant in the overcrowded streaming-content business, announced Monday afternoon that Q1 results would take a big hit from work slowdowns and weakened sales in China. Apple shares had to play along with the announcement, since it would have been unseemly and even a little bizarre for the stock to have risen on such news, emanating as it did from Apple’s own PR desk.
Other stocks in the FAANG/lunatic sector were not so deferential, however. Most chalked up solid gains on the day, implying they are chomping at the bit as they wait for Apple’s troubles to be perfunctorily discounted and forgotten in perhaps a few more days. (Note: Technically, AAPL looks primed to fall for reasons covered in my latest tout, below.) That the FAANGs and other multinational giants are themselves vulnerable to the same virus-related forces presently impacting on Apple will not likely be a concern on Wall Street, where the sole imperative is to throw Other People’s Money at a relatively small handful of stocks. Actually, Apple’s bearish guidance may ultimately help this Ponzi scheme along, since it will afford analysts an easy opportunity to do what they are paid to do: underestimate earnings ahead of the next round of announcements.