I was joking this morning when I said that if Apple (AAPL) were to announce a 10-for-one stock split, a doubling of the dividend and a sharply higher-than-expected quarter, it might not even rally.
But after today's action, you have to wonder exactly how hated this stock really is.
When you think that we are hearing all sorts of good stories about sold out iPad minis, excellent demand for the iPhone and a chance to extend its ecosystem to the lower end of the cellphone spectrum, you know that you could spin this one pretty positively (even as my friend Rocco Pendola spins it negatively on TheStreet.)
But on a day when Facebook (FB) has one of its biggest runs because it sent out an invitation for a meeting -- just a meeting -- Apple clearly has become this market's whipping boy.
Look, if it weren't a big stock, I wouldn't care. However, if you are like me and have the stock in a prominent spot on your screen, you look up and say, "Good grief!" Then, when you see clips of Steve Jobs on TV for the sixth anniversary of the iPhone, you begin to think that Apple's morphed into Sony (SNE)!
It isn't just Apple that is acting terribly. We had a bad reversal in a host of companies, including Starbucks (SBUX), Bank of America (BAC), Amazon (AMZN), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and lululemon athletica (LULU) -- all high-profile bank and growth stories, many of which were pushed hard this morning (although, of course, BAC was downgraded today).
I believe that portions of this market really want to take a breather, and those portions are the leaders from the fourth quarter. Despite the fact that the averages are finishing in the black, it almost feels like a down day because of where so many stocks were, including Alcoa (AA), which went out terribly.
I don't share the gloom around me, but we bought nothing today for ActionAlertsPlus, in part because the market didn't act better despite the preannouncements to the positive side and the good Alcoa number on top of Tuesday's excellent Monsanto (MON) earnings report.
The bottom line for me is I thought we would be more robust because of the numbers last night and this morning. The fact that we didn't is a sign to me that the market wants to go lower, even as the transports, one of my favorite indicators, held up well.
Total wait-and-see mode for me -- can't pull the trigger until things go lower. Just don't trust it. Just don't.