It is no secret that Apple (AAPL) is to be credited, to a large degree, with the re-energizing of the technology sector and the consumerization of IT. Its devices have become a cornerstone of consumer spending helping prop up the economy and business tech spending.
Its innovation in mobile computing through its iPhone versions has fueled the mobile revolution, forced competitors to rethink their product strategies, created thousands of smaller startups inventing applications of all sizes, changed the way companies and individuals communicate, and forever altered the business models of many industries such as music. It hard to even measure the impact Apple has had on the world today.
But has Apple grown so influential that it can also cause the downfall of the stock market and therefore set the fragile economy into a tailspin? Can just a slight miss of analysts’ expectations be the catalyst that collapses Wall Street?
Logical thinking says no one company has that much power. However, some believe that Apple can be the final equation to the Perfect Storm.
“For the past two years or so, investors have had it pretty easy with Apple (AAPL). There have been a few scares, but mostly sunny skies,” wrote Andrew Nyquist at seeitmarket.com. “But the recent decline in shares has fallen below a key technical price indicator and is nearing an important juncture in time and price. In sum, if AAPL doesn’t find its footing soon, it may risk a deeper drop”
Since Apple reported its third-quarter results, its stock has been on the decline, and so has the overall market. While the third quarter came in within Wall Street’s expectations, the company’s subsequent call with analysts in which it provided fourth quarter guidance, raised questions about the company’s ability to continue to grow at its expected pace. Immediately after Apple posted third-quarter sales of almost $11 million, its stock dropped 7 percent in after-market trading to $121 a share from $130.75 a share. That was July 10.
Almost four weeks later and the stock continues to decline. The company with the largest market cap closed at $118.44 on Monday, Aug. 3, nearly 10 percent below from its trading levels before its third-quarter announcement.
“For the first time since September 2013, the tech giant’s stock has knifed under the closely watched 200-day moving average. Many chart lovers use that as a guide to a stock’s long-term trend,” according to Nyquist. “Also, Apple has entered into what’s often called ‘correction territory’ by dropping more than 10% from its peak.”
Coincidentally, or not, the overall market is also going through some rough waters. The Dow closed at 17,550.69 yesterday, Aug. 4. This is down from 17,760.41 on July 10 the day after Apple reported its results. While it has been on a bit of a roller coaster for the past 30 days, the Dow has now closed down nine consecutive sessions, something it hasn’t done since February of 1978 when Jimmy Carter was president, according to marketwatch.com.
Apple is traded on NASDAQ but the Dow is used as more of a barometer of investor sediment.
To be fair, the global commodities market has also been slumping and the Greece debt situation hasn’t helped investor confidence either. However, could Apple be at the core of the market decline?
“And as goes the largest company by market value, so goes the whole U.S. stock market,” Nyquist wrote.