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CUPERTINO, Calif. (
Apple(AAPL - Get Report) -- purveyor of hip, the gadget maker with the golden touch -- has seen its stock price hit two new highs in the past week. In fact,
Apple has been on a winning streak for the past decade, ever since its audacious co-founder Steve Jobs reclaimed the top post. Apple's long ride atop the pinnacle of cool has a can't-miss quality to it; a gravity-defying feel of permanence.
But beware of the backlash.
While hard to picture now, Jobs and company will one day, maybe soon, fall out of step with fashion. Growth will stall. Fair-weather investors will flee to sunnier stocks. Loyal fans will become embittered. Smelling blood, critics will get even nastier.
It's inevitable. The life cycle of tech giants is brilliant and brutally short. Today's consumer electronics leaders are tomorrow's fossils. In the 1970s,
Atari was considered infallible, bringing video games out of the arcade and into the home with joysticks and consoles. But by the 80s, rivals
Nintendo got the hot hand, and Atari was deemed uncool.
Cool is the whipped confection that Jobs has built the Apple kingdom on, but even the sweetest empires fall.
Apple shares have had a tremendous run, and here are four reasons to sell the stock and bank your gains.