Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report set its 2019 high of $177.75 on Monday, March 4 and faces a weekly "key reversal" if Friday's close is below last week's low of $172.73. This negative signal indicates risk to my semiannual pivot at $168.72.
Apple closed Thursday at $172.50, up 9.4% so far in 2019 and in bull market territory 21.5% above its Jan. 3 low of $142.00. Even so, the stock is in bear market territory 26.1% below its all-time intraday high of $233.47 set on Oct. 3. From its all-time high to its Jan. 3 low, the stock declined by 39%.
There are so many stocks and indices that reached bull market territory off their Christmas lows. Apple has been one of the 2019 leaders of the Dow Jones Industrial Average after being a drag in 2018. The Dow 30 is below my annual pivot at 25,819 with my semiannual pivot at 24,340. Apple is below its annual pivot at $182.85 with its semiannual pivot at $168.72.
One issue for Apple is its cash hoard of $130 billion. The tech giant wants to reduce this pile of cash. My suggestion is to raise the dividend. Some say that Apple is cheap with a P/E ratio of 14.22 and dividend yield of 1.69%, according to Macrotrends. Apple can reach new investors by raising the dividend yield to more than 3.00%, which would make the stock one of the "Dogs of the Dow." One challenge is smartphone demand and competition from android devices.
Apple has a winning streak of beating earnings-per-share estimates for 11 consecutive quarters. On May 1, 2018 a better-than-expected earnings report began a 2018 rally for the stock. This was fortified when the tech giant reported on July 31. After the stock peaked at $233.47 on Oct. 3 there was a negative reaction to earnings on Nov. 1. In 2019, earnings released on Jan. 29 were well-received.
The Daily Chart for Apple
Courtesy of Refinitiv XENITH
The daily chart for Apple shows the formation of a "death cross" on Dec. 20 when the 50-day simple moving average fell below the 200-day simple moving average indicating that lower prices would follow. This warning was in play at the Jan. 3 low of $142.00. The 2018 close of $157.74 on Dec. 31 was input to my proprietary analytics that resulted in three horizontal lines. My semiannual pivot is $168.72 with my annual and quarterly risky levels at $182.85 and $218.66, respectively. The Feb. 28 close of $173.15 resulted in my monthly risky level for March at $195.24. Notice how my semiannual pivot at $168.72 held at the low of Friday, Feb. 8. Can we hold it again a month later?
The Weekly Chart for Apple
Courtesy of Refinitiv XENITH
The weekly chart for Apple is positive with the stock above its five-week modified moving average of $169.41 and above its 200-week simple moving average or "reversion to the mean" at $143.64. Note that when the stock traded as low as $142.00 on Jan. 3 it almost tested its "reversion to the mean" then at $141.85. The potential weekly "key reversal" is shown on the two most recent weekly bars on the chart. After setting the 2019 high of $177.75 on March 4, if today's close is below the prior week's low of $172.73, a weekly "key reversal" will be confirmed.
The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic reading is projected to rise to 65.76 up from 56.58 on March 1. The 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic readings has been an excellent guide to tops and bottoms. A reading above 90.00 where it was just before the all-time high was a correct call that the stock was an "inflating parabolic bubble." At the Jan. 3 low, the reading was below 10.00, indicating that the stock was "too cheap to ignore."
Stochastic readings scale is between 00.00 and 100.00, with readings above 20.00 overbought and readings below 20.00 oversold. Above 90.00 is my indication of an "inflating parabolic bubble." Below 10.00 is "too cheap to ignore."
Trading Strategy: Buy weakness to my semiannual pivot at $168.72 or wait for a break to the 200-week simple moving average at $143.64. Reduce holdings on strength to my annual, monthly and quarterly risky levels at $182.85, $195.24 and $218.66, respectively.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.