A flurry of programmed trading brought Apple — and much of the rest of the market — down Monday. There may be no rational explanation. But the human mind abhors a vacuum, and the commentariat was quick to fill it in — mostly with hot air.
MarketWatch’s Jennifer Wooton: Apple shares fall on highest volume since October. “Besides a wave of bullish analyst notes on the company’s Black Friday performance, various unconfirmed rumors seem to be triggering a selloff… Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in an interview on CNBC earlier on Monday said Apple will likely have a ‘phenomenal holiday quarter’ but could face tough year-over-year comparisons in the same period next year if the Apple Watch ‘is a bust’ and it doesn’t unveil a smart TV. He said there is still upside potential on the stock but ‘not massive’ opportunity given supply constraints on the new iPhone 6.”
CNBC’s Cadie Thompson: Here’s why Apple shares took a dive. “RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani said traders told him reasons for the selling may include a rating change Morgan Stanley made Monday, cutting the U.S. technology sector to “market weight” from “overweight.” The firm also cut its Apple weight to 3 percent from 4 percent and recommended clients trim their position in Apple. Scott Redler, partner with T-3Live.com, said Apple broke its eight-day moving average for the first time in weeks, and after it fell through $117, there was no support so it dropped to $111.27… Lou Basenese, founder of Disruptive Tech Research, said that while he’s not hearing anything specific, the most reasonable explanation is that investors are just ready to cash out… There was some chatter that Apple, like its peers, also had weak Black Friday sales. Some traders said Apple may also be falling victim to a retailer selloff.”
The Street’s Susannah Lee: Apple Falls on iPhone 6 Selfie’ Camera Complaints on Cyber Monday. “The tech giant is also dealing with hundreds of iPhone 6 customers experiencing their phone’s front-facing ‘selfie’ camera not working properly.”
That last one may be the silliest explanation yet. Business Insider’s James Cook claimed — on the basis of a handful of reports on social media sites — that “hundreds” of people “all over the Internet” are complaining that their front-facing iPhone 6 cameras have become misaligned.
I’ve followed Cook’s pointers to Reddit, MacRumor and iFixit. I haven’t seen anything close to “hundreds” of complaints. And nobody is saying that their iPhone 6 camera — however misaligned — isn’t working properly.
If that’s all it takes to knock more than $40 billion off Apple’s market cap, the Street is even less rational than I feared.
CNBC’s Bob Pisani: Here’s why Apple dropped. “Occam’s Razor says the explanation with the fewest assumptions is usually the correct one. In other words, the most likely explanation is usually the right one. After talking to several traders, here’s the explanation with the fewest assumptions: Someone sold a ton of Apple. Very fast.”
Hard to argue with that.