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Hold Off on Apple

This article originally appeared on Jan. 27, 2014, on RealMoney.com. To read more content like this plus see inside Jim Cramer's multimillion-dollar portfolio for FREE... Click Here

The market's bounce this morning has left people wanting. After the market went out at the lows Friday, a rebound is about the last thing most of us probably wanted to see -- because, in my view, Friday wasn't enough to be considered a wash-out move. Today's action so far has reflected that.

Issues are still lingering overseas but, I believe news from abroad has a different impact on the market vs. anything domestic. Even though it's more readily available than ever, many traders appear to need more reinforcement of it -- either it takes longer to sink in or to realize the potential impact on markets, or folks simply do not believe anything they are hearing.

Meanwhile, over the last two hours of trading I've been watching an inverse cup-and-handle pattern form on the five-minute chart of the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY). It may not be huge, but does look to point lower, around $177.35, for a target. I'd like to see a wash-out in the next day or two, but then I'm very heavy on cash at the moment, so I am talking my book.

Apple (AAPL) will be the big one tonight, with the company set to post earnings after the close. Options are fluctuating, but they're pricing in a share move of between $29 and $30 by the end of the week. If the stock climbs above $570, I could see it blasting all the way to $600 in a very quick fashion, as the resistance and upside target both lie between $570 and $575. Any downside moves would find support around $530, but if that area gives way I'll be looking for another retest of $503. In other words, I think a more-than-$25 move is very possible at this juncture.

Apple does look coiled nicely to me, but I was just talking to another trader with whom I often look at earnings trade -- and, after our discussion, I just can't help but think I need to sit on my hands right now. It is tough to just buy Apple options straight-up, because if the stock is flat on Tuesday, that would just crush the premium. But it's only Monday, so any type of combination trade will need time to really achieve a solid return

It is hard to recommend sitting on the sidelines, especially when so many folks are looking for an excuse to trade Apple. Yes, I think the company will beat expectations, but I'm a little wary on guidance and sentiment has been horrid overall. On the plus side for bulls, I don't think you'll see Carl Icahn out with anything negative, but his words seem to be losing weight faster than Billy Halleck.

So, for me, I think no trade is the best trade for Apple into earnings. I will maintain my long-term position, but that will be it for now.

At the time of publication, Collins was long AAPL LEAP call spreads, SPY puts, short AAPL LEAP put spreads.

  Timothy Collins has worked as a financial adviser since 1999, focusing on portfolio customization, with a concentration on correlation arbitrage and risk-managed growth. He started Collins Capital Advisors in 2007, which evolved into TangleTrade Management, LLC. Currently, he operates Retro Wall Street, a site focused on education, trader mentoring and humor.  You'll find him spending his days in the Retro Wall Street chat room.

Prior to joining his first firm, American Express Financial Advisors, in 1999, Collins worked as a staff accountant for United Information Systems in Bethesda, Md. He has also worked as a financial analyst for Securities Pricing and Research in Annapolis, Md. Collins is a graduate of McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College), with degrees in business administration, economics and sociology and is a winner of the Bates Prize.

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