WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2015 – Not a lot to report today, aside from Apple’s just-concluded annual event in San Francisco, the results of which were mostly telegraphed in advance. Rumored appearances by U-2 and an Apple “iCar” prototype disappeared back into the ether from whence they came.
But the processor speed and camera quality of the new iPhone 6s models, the impending debut of iOS 9 (with “3-D Touch”) and Mac OS X “El Capitan,” a massively improved and very stylish iPad Pro, and advanced video gaming features for both—plus a vastly more capable Apple TV device were highlighted to relatively enthusiastic applause. Ditto an upcoming OS rev for the competent but slow-starting Apple Watch, along with a few promised new bells and whistles. And, oh yeah, a new stylus capability for the iPad.
The announced new product line up was absolutely slick, as we’ve come to expect from Apple’s crack engineering and design teams. But, as expected, this didn’t do much for Apple stock (symbol: AAPL). After sneaking up nicely along with market averages this morning, AAPL collapsed after the formal presentation ended at around 3:10 p.m. EDT. It’s off roughly $2.40 (approximately 2.4 percent) at $109.92 as we near the closing bell. The tradition of selling this stock hard after its annual September event is hard to break, particularly in a market that wants to go down anyway.
Market averages, after spending much of the day in the green, have collapsed as well, with the DJI off 240 (1.5 percent), the S&P 500 down 27.05 (also about 1.5 percent) and the tech-centric, small stock-centric NASDAQ (which Apple heavily influences) down a nasty 55.68, off nearly 1.2 percent. So much for yesterday’s rally, which has now partially been taken back by the bears and HFTs who’ve been driving this market since early summer.
Stocks are getting hammered across the board as the summer’s nasty volatility persists and as predictions are getting louder that the Fed is really going to sock it to us, interest rate-wise in September in spite of everyone around the world’s asking them to please not do it. Who knows how this one will turn out? It seems most investors would just as soon keep heading for the exits on every rally, turning the current market into the mirror opposite of the way it used to behave during those golden days of QE.
We’re going to sign off early today for two reasons.
There’s not much more we can do today, although we’ve been slowly selling our last remaining utilities and paring down our once substantial REIT holdings. These investments are completely counter-trend right now, with bonds currently deemed more attractive and less volatile. Or at least the story goes. So why hang around in these vehicles and keep suffering successively worse losses? Time to reboot our thinking.
Second, we’re heading for Cleveland tomorrow (yes, Cleveland) to attend the wedding of the Maven’s nephew this weekend. Hope springs eternal (except on Wall Street these days), and we wish both him and his bride-to-be the very best. The Maven has been married about as long as Methuselah trod the earth, so he’s biased in favor of the institution, even though he confesses to being unfashionably “cisgendered.” Oh, well…
At any rate, this latest road trip will cut down on our creative output through about next Wednesday. But that’s okay. The way this market has been thrashing about, and the way the quality of our government has been deteriorating apace, we’ll just keep creeping back toward about a 75 percent cash position on up days. Then we’ll sit there until the juvenile delinquents who are destroying our one time market of stocks get bored with their current mindless stupidity.
Which probably won’t be for a while, yet. They’ll only learn their lesson when everyone else has left the market and there’s no other side to their mindless trades.