NEW YORK (TheStreet) - An iPhone price increase, sub-$1,000 laptops (iPad with keyboard?) and iWatch rumblings provide plenty of exciting fodder for Apple (AAPL) shareholders and potential investors to visualize renewed growth.
But the market isn't buying it.
Investors are taking money off the table ahead of next week's earnings, Wednesday after the close. Experienced investors know charts lead fundamentals, not the other way around. During the last six months, and markedly since the start of 2014, money has flowed out of Apple and into Microsoft (MSFT).
Microsoft, as of the Thursday close of $40, is up nearly 7% for the year to date. Apple, at around $525, is down nearly 7%.
Two weeks ago, Microsoft's stock reached yet another 52-week high. Insatiable demand for the software maker by investors gobbling up shares turned March into a feeding frenzy. Three weeks in a row the stock reached new multi-year highs. Apple shares appreciated in March also, but the price was unable to rise above the declining supply line (red line in the chart).
The daily chart has too much noise in it for long-term investments in my opinion. The monthly chart supported my bull thesis in Apple's Buyback Program May Mean a Higher Dividend. It wasn't difficult to maintain a bullish bias while the company generated incredible amounts of revenue and pays a dividend yield over 2%.
Now the mood is shifting, and the fundamentals and technicals indicate expectations of further weakness. A 2% dividend isn't comforting if the stock is declining faster. In the key monthly chart above, I circled in white April's bar.