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Apple Selloff: About a Year Too Soon

Stocks in this article: AAPL

In between the one-to-three day periods of weakness, we witnessed semi-strong relief rallies.

Other stocks deserve chest bumps, but three come to mind as ones that got out in front to lead those rallies -- Ralph Lauren (RL), (AMZN) and AAPL.

Even after factoring in Jobs's death, the least has changed at Apple.

Ralph experiences weakness on concerns over a slowdown in high-end spending. Amazon stunts occasionally, at least in part because of how much it spends to grow. I don't agree across the board, but that's all sensible.

Apple falling off of a cliff since September. That's not sensible.

Apple sells out iPhone 5. Foxconn can't keep up with demand. Qualcomm (QCOM) throws down solid earnings, but that gets ignored in favor of a more hysterical focus.

Apple notches record iPad sales this past weekend. People wonder where the lines were.

You're telling me the long-term bear case gained all this traction in the last two months?

No way. The market doesn't look forward that way. It doesn't hammer a company like Apple on the basis of such qualitative uncertainty. And, if it ever does, it will not start with a company that, outside of Samsung, has ZERO competition and another record holiday quarter on tap.

No, the media chooses to report the spectacle.

That's what happened yesterday.

Gundlach gave CNBC the same bear case he's been giving anybody who would listen for the last six months. There's nothing new there. Nothing.

However, a quick search of the AAPL stories of the last 18 hours reveals a focus on this old news. Almost everybody took Gundlach's bear case and made it the headline like a bunch of irresponsible, blood-thirsty hacks.

They either ignored or buried the other thing he told CNBC: Investors have made loads of money on AAPL. Four more years almost definitely means higher capital gains taxes in 2013. As such, taking profits the day after the election makes perfect sense.

That's what happened yesterday. Nothing more than that mixed with other flavors of macro uncertainty, from the whole of the fiscal cliff to riots in Greece.

Get it straight: The real possibility that Tim Cook and his team cannot innovate the way they did under Steve Jobs will have no material impact on Apple's results for a least another six to 12 months.

In late January when Apple reports results from the current holiday quarter, we'll get validation of that thesis.

At the time of publication, Rocco Pendola was long AAPL via April 2013 call options.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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