Wednesday Wrap-Up: Apple Looks Pretty Juicy
Happy Wednesday!

Happy hump day. 

Let's dive right into the top stories from Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Apple's (AAPL) Showing Off

We threw a party in order to celebrate the launch of the new iPhones.

And by party, I mean live blog

If you missed it, don't worry, I'll fill you in on some of the points that TheStreet's Annie Gaus and Eric Jhonsa made during the presentation. 

Steve Jobs theater is so pretty I'm afraid to touch anything pic.twitter.com/PoXTJDDEP7

— Annie Gaus (@AnnieGaus) September 12, 2018

As usual, the new iPhones are expected to be powered by a new processor (likely called the A12) and feature improved cameras. Also expected: Gigabit LTE and dual SIM support, battery life improvements and more RAM relative to comparable 2017 models, said Jhonsa.

This year's iPhone refresh is seen as a more incremental one than last year, but I'm curious to see what the camera and battery life improvements look like (Apple has historically been pretty strong in both areas).

Also curious to see what pricing looks like for the iPhone X successors. Some reports suggest the 5.8" model will start at $899 ($100 less than the iPhone X), with the 6.5" model starting at $999.

The new Apple Watch screens are over 30% larger. The body is thinner. Every part of the UI has been redesigned. Speaker is 50% louder, better for Siri and for calls. Mic has been moved to reduce echo.

After detecting a fall, the Watch sends an alert and asks a user if they want to start an emergency call. Call automatically starts if no movement is detected for a minute.

Three new heart features: 

  • notification if your heart rate is too low. 
  • heart rhythm can be screened, if it detects an irregular rhythm, can notify you of atrial filibration.
  • you can take electrocardiogram with a new sensor they added.

The Apple Watch's Series 4's processor is 2x faster than the prior-gen version's. Battery life is said to still be "all-day."

The Apple Saga Continues...

Apple just released its newest iPhone Model, the iPhone Xs, and it's got the biggest LCD screen an Apple phone has ever had, at 6.5 inches. TheStreet's Jacob Sonenshine talked to an analyst about the shiny new iPhones.

The stock doesn't seem to be reacting positively to the release, down more than 1% Wednesday Sept. 12. But at least one analyst is quite optimistic. "The LCD model should sell well," Rosenblatt Securities' Jun Zhang told TheStreet. And while the smartphone market has begun to slow significantly, Apple isnn't pulling any punches with pricing, as its $1,000 model sold very well. Still, the Xs isn't priced exorbitantly, and Zhang thinks "the LCD model could be very competitive in terms of price."

Part of the picture, in Zhang's eyes, is that this year's upgrade is much stronger than last year's. "Last year, the iPhone 8's didn't upgrade much from the iPhone 7," he said. "This year, you have a few new models and a faster CPU."

If the new model does indeed sell well, it could add notably more revenue, as the LCD is roughly 70% of Apple's production, compared to the Oled, which is about 30%, in Zhang's estimate.

Is a Bear Market Upon Us?

Ah, TheStreet's Brian Sozzi has another hot take.

With once high growth sectors selling off of late -- see plunge in Micron (MU) , the SOX Index, emerging markets and cryptocurrencies -- some on Wall Street are beginning to sound the alarm bell on the broader market for 2019. Enter investment bank Morgan Stanley with its new "rolling bear market" thesis.

"We believe we are in a "rolling bear market," a market where risk assets across sectors and geographies reprice to account for the removal of central bank provided liquidity," hypothesizes Morgan Stanley strategist Mike Wilson.

"Less central bank liquidity support as we near the end of an economic cycle should bring higher volatility as risk assets and markets lose some of their ability to absorb shocks. Our call is not for a simultaneous and large repricing across risk assets, but for a bear market that rolls through different assets and sectors at different times with the weakest links (Bitcoin, EM debt and equities, BTPs, funding spreads, base metals, and early cycle industries like home builders and airlines) being hit first/hardest."

A slow death of the bull market, if you will.

Oof. 

On the broader market, Wilson's "rolling bear market" thesis shows up in his S&P 500  call.

"We believe 2018 marks the beginning of a wide trading range (2400-3000) that could last several years. While the price damage may not be extreme at the index level, it may feel and look a lot like a bear market. We think this "rolling bear market" has already begun with peak valuations in December and peak sentiment in January. We have a mid-June 2019 target for the S&P 500 of 2,750," Wilson says.

And that's a wrap.

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