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Citi's price target of $575 looks pretty good though, doesn't it!?
In all seriousness, here's where we're headed with AAPL. Higher. Much higher. And here's how it will go down.
The stock runs ahead of holiday quarter earnings, which Apple reports at the end of the month. On the blowout report, it's anybody's guess. Nothing surprises me on Apple earnings.
Sell the news. Pop, stop and drop. Stagnation around $600 to $650 or, if things really go wild, new highs. I don't know. Mere mortals cannot predict what Apple will do on earnings. However, it's a little less cloudy, even if erratic, the rest of the time.
Sanity returns to the market on the "fiscal cliff" deal with the clear retail winners leading the way -- Apple and
Amazon.com(AMZN - Get Report).
Other retailers, not quite so hot. But you cannot expect this trend to last.
There was no good reason for AAPL's and, to a lesser extent, AMZN's struggles in December. It was all noise and hysteria. Sometimes in the stock market, like in life, you just have to go with the obvious. Trust what you see in front of you. And, for the entirety of the holiday quarter, it was clear -- there was Apple and Amazon and everybody else.
Apple retail stores were beyond packed, particularly as we approached Christmas. That reality did not abate between Christmas and New Years. And
Amazon absolutely dominated online commerce: For goodness sake, the company recorded 24.6 million visits to its Web site on Christmas Day.
Walmart(WMT) came in a "close" second at 7.4 million.
But clear and obvious only works in horseshoes and hand grenades. Not this stock market.
AAPL and AMZN will rally, but, namely for Apple, "concerns" and "caution" will reenter the picture. People will question the efficacy of
releasing a new iPhone too soon. Now, that's a legitimate concern,
but it's a long-term concern. I'll drill this down in a separate article, but a new iPhone -- done sort of "right" -- will dominate as much, if not more than previous iterations.