Now I’m not saying that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) caused the stock market rally to fizzle, but I think a case could be made that as the de facto leader of Tech, Apple’s refresh of its notebook lineup did nothing to stem the tide of the rally. Maybe that’s a little unfair in that the rally lost steam only minutes into the market open, and Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs didn’t take the stage to hawk his new notebooks until about 1 p.m. EST yesterday.
Although Apple’s new notebooks are awesome pieces of engineering, the laser-tooled bricks really deflated my expectations, and I’m sure the expectations of many analysts and Apple faithful as well. Look, it’s really cool that the new case is a single piece of aluminum, precision manufactured with CNC machines, just like NASA gadgets and all, and I suppose the new glass track pad is a step into my Touch future. But the specs of the machines in this lineup are little changed from their prequels, and the pricing does not make me want to run down to my local Apple Store and empty my pockets. What happened to an $800 MacBook?
Let me make a full disclosure that I intend to purchase a 15 inch MacBook Pro sometime this year, but I would have purchased one no matter what the price or configuration, because I need a new laptop. Windoze-based laptops are simply not an option for me regardless of the price difference.
I’m sure that I’ll feel pretty good when I leave the store with my new MackBook Pro, in much the same way I felt with my current MacBook Pro, and for the scores of Macs I’ve purchased over the years. Only this one will definitely be prettier and sleeker, while not a whole lot faster, and definitely not cheaper either. You would think that with today’s economic climate, and Apple’s self-imposed margin reduction, that it was going to put that margin in our collective products and in the process incite mass market share hysteria.
So, getting back to Steve Jobs fizzling the rally… if you were watching the live blogging of the notebook event in one window, and your streaming quotes in another, It became apparent that not only was Apple’s stock price being affected by every utterance from Jobs’ lips, but so were the Nasdaq and S&P 500 exchanges. Either that or it was an incredible cosmic coincidence.
But let’s be fair. The market rally from Monday was in response to the Euro bailout, just like the rally we had right after the initial US Congressional bailout. Both rallies were artificially induced, just more dopamine pumped into our systems. Yeah sure, it was definitely necessary, as the alternatives are dire, and you have to do whatever it takes to keep from slipping into the abyss. However, isn’t it interesting that after the dope wears off, the market regresses back to the realization that we’re still hurting? The fact is that this rally, like the other rally, was born of shorts covering their behinds, not buyers pouring into the system.
And where do we go from here? My answer to that is unfortunate, but I see the markets going down from here, perhaps to test the next gap plotted late last week. Unfortunately, the last thing we wanted to see after Monday’s rally was black candlesticks, and that’s what we got in just about every sector except for banking and finance (no big surprise, being all doped up and all). A complete reversal of fortunes. Just look at AAPL, it opened above 116 and finished more than 12 points lower! And in a polar opposite move it closed very close to the low of the day, unlike Monday where it closed near the high.
Oh well… I think I’ll go to my Apple Store to check out the new 15 incher.
Stock position: None.