The following commentary was originally sent to Action Alerts PLUS subscribers on Feb. 24, 2016, at 4:50 p.m.
Have you noticed that they've tried to throw everything at Apple (AAPL) but the kitchen sink and the darned thing won't come down?
First, we know the obvious: The company's refusal to give up the code to the FBI, something that has earned it the enmity of Republican Party front-runner Donald Trump, who is calling for a boycott of the company. Hate him or like him, he's got more airtime than anyone on Earth, and if he chooses to hammer Apple it won't be positive for sales. (Apple is part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio.)
Second, if Apple does give up the codes, what happens to sales in China? Won't the Chinese want the codes? China's the big growth market for the company. It would be a natural for the party to join Trump in a boycott of Apple products, except this one would be pretty effective given that the Communist Party is a totalitarian organization.
Third, we have been getting more of these channel-check studies of late where brokers trip over each other to say Apple's sales are going to be horrendous and that cellphones have peaked. We get one a day. They all try to outdo each other in being negative. This most recent one I read, from some outfit I don't even know, said iPhone demand will drop 18% year over year and there's a lot of excess inventory.