Having grown up musically talentless in a talented family, I had no choice when I was a young lad. I was going to spend the afternoon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. My sister would be on stage, playing the piano. My brother and I (both being palookas) would much rather have stayed home so we could play pick-up baseball with our fellow street urchins, but that was the way the cookie crumbled back in those days.
Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. ET, that stage on Lafayette Street will be the focus of Wall Street as, for the second time this autumn, Apple (AAPL) will hold a product launch event. Last month it was three new iPhones and smartwatches. Today it will be iPads and MacBooks -- just in time for the holidays. Do I care in the least about new consumer electronic products from the leader in the category? Not one bit.
I do care, however, if people in general buy them. I care even more if the masses in aggregate latch onto Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Care, and iCloud. All of these gadgets, and keeping them current, are how the firm moves the U.S. consumer toward a state of dependency upon Apple' service-oriented ecosystem. The subscription economy. Recurring, high-margin revenue. In other words, force a higher valuation on the equity. China? Yeah, obviously that matters. Did you read Jefferies analyst Timothy O'Shea yesterday? O'Shea looks for services to reach 40% of Apple gross profit by 2022.Trading Apple
AAPL reports its fourth-quarter results this Thursday after the closing bell. Although revenue is expected to print at a rough $61.5 billion for the quarter, it will be the first-quarter revenue projection -- which could top $93 billion -- and the services breakout that will impact the share price.
I come into the day long AAPL. My thought is this: Should the shares pop in reaction to Tuesday morning's launch event, I am likely to shave something off of the equity position, and given a chance, buy it back at a discount either pre- or post-earnings. I'll play this by ear. I am also prepared to add significantly to this position at both the $200 and $180 levels. Think that's crazy? After what we've been through?
I want to show you what I am thinking. During Monday's regular session, one quickly sees that the 50% retracement level worked to perfection. One also sees that, barring that electronic overshoot, the 38.2% retracement level is more or less where the name closed.
Both may matter. If they do, then it stands to reason that the 61.8% retracement level could also factor in. That's the discount that I ultimately desire.
My target price for this name has been $255. That spot is neither here nor there, right now. It's meaningless. My panic point for AAPL has been $206. For my own purposes, I am now dropping that level to $200 for an add, not a sale.
(A longer version of this column appeared at 7:23 a.m. ET on Real Money, our premium site for active traders. Click here to get great columns like this from Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle, Jim Cramer and other experts throughout the market day.)