Stock ManAAPLation? [Updated]
On Dec. 30, with just a couple of hours left in the penultimate trading session of the year, Apple’s (AAPL) shares hit $87.99 and seemed to be well on their way back to $90. But before they could break $88, claims that Steve Jobs’s declining health is the real reason the Apple CEO won’t deliver the keynote at Macworld 2009 cut the legs out from under them. The rumor was quickly dismissed, but not before AAPL plunged to $85.04.
As I noted that day, the timing of the rumor seemed a bit suspicious. With little in the way of news during the holiday week, Jobs’s decision to bail on the Macworld keynote issue still fresh in our minds and his health an obvious shareholder concern, it seemed a bit like an AAPL manipulator’s perfect storm.
Apparently, there may be a bit more to that armchair theory than I thought. Over at Traderhood, writers with far more stock analysis acumen than I, suggest that Apple shares were poised for a huge breakout in price the afternoon of Dec. 30, bolstered by a general upward trend in the market and their own ascending triangle (click on chart below) when they very suspiciously had the wind knocked out of them. “Amazingly at the very point where AAPL’s spike at the tip of the ascending triangle should happen, rumor was introduced and killed the setup completely,” Traderhood blogger Conschmillo explains. “I mean you can have things to happen unexpectedly. It happens all the time, it is a stock market, but to have them placed this [precisely] when everything else is taking off, AAPL included, makes me believe, there is more than meets the eye to why AAPL price is down. If this rumor was not introduced, AAPL would be somewhere around $93.”
So, a favorable technical set-up was thwarted at the moment the odds favored the opposite happening. Coincidence?
UPDATE: Apparently, it was a coincidence. Brian Lam, Editorial Director of Gizmodo, which published the rumor, tells me the site was tipped off well before Dec. 30.
[Image credit: Tin foil hat courtesy Patrick Daley]
(Thanks Barry )