ZOMG (that is OMG plus a Z to capture an extra special level of enthusiasm).
Apple (AAPL) is releasing a bunch of new products today. It feels as if this epic day in our history has been etched in stone since September last year, when we received just a silly new iPhone with assorted colors and a more affordable price.
So, start your writing engines tech blog community, today is your game day, one chock full of copying other people's photos who are at the event and piping in on the impact to humanity from something that should definitely be called an iBand given its universal functionality.
I hate Apple product release day, in case you didn't sense it with the intro here. It's a phone, folks. Why don't we wait outside for weeks to salute our heroes when they come home from duty? Instead of obsessing over a phone, why not pour those hours back into researching a market that has been on a tear for five-straight weeks or, maybe, listen to a bunch of the conferences currently being webcast at the banks since, believe it or not, earnings pre-announcement season is right around the bend.
I, for one, will not be sweating Apple's self-declared national holiday, meaning no new HUGE iPhone screen for me yet and no $499 plunked down on a health monitor that resembles nothing that was photographically leaked in recent days.
(FYI: Watch how Best Buy (BBY) shares react today. The company's third -quarter guidance was very cautious as it wasn't too sure on the supply it would get from Apple for the new releases. A pop could indicate its guidance may prove conservative based on product enthusiasm and initial supply quantities.)
In non-Apple-la-la land, here is what I have: retail REITs. According to Bloomberg data, retail REIT shares increased 3.1% in August, trailing the S&P 500's 3.8% gain. Year to date, the retail REIT shares are up 10.6%, topping the S&P 500's performance by a few percentage points. The latest relative underperformance of REITs arrive in spite of more people opting to charge purchases (as seen in the July consumer credit data) and strengthening consumer confidence.
It's this type of forward-looking indicator you should pay attention to as we near the end of QE. Why? Retail REITs, such as Simon Property Group (SPG), Tanger Outlet (SKT) and General Growth (GGP) have significant debt on their books. Higher rates potentially pressured net profits. On the positive side, a company like Simon Property continues to benefit from quality real estate holdings and retailers demanding better locations, so it's able to charge higher rents than on those expiring leases.
Apple Product Release Checklist
If you aren't too sure on how to analyze Apple's supply chain (like Broadcom (BRCM), etc.), be sure to consider:
- Shares of Best Buy, Wal-Mart (WMT) (stock levels of the new products).
- Shares of Amazon (AMZN) (Fire competition).
- Shares MasterCard (MA), eBay (EBAY) (Paypal), American Express (AXP), Discover (DFS), Starbucks (SBUX) (mobile payment).
- S&P Retail Index (do these new products create a flood into the malls this fall).
- Nike (NKE) (it reportedly scrapped the Fuelband to work closer with Apple on whatever wrist device it releases).