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August 20, 2020 | AAPL Drags ‘Lunatic Stocks’ Higher, but Not the Dow

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

AAPL remains in thrall to madmen, mountebanks and keister bandits, although this crew could run out of room to manipulate the stock moonward very shortly. The Cupertino firm’s shares rose $10 on Thursday, settling at 472.83 and adding a total of $40 billion of ‘wealth’ to the net worth of Switzerland and, probably, every homeowner within three blocks of Malibu Beach. From here it’s no more than a three-day climb to 490.97, a potentially important rally target that Rick’s Picks subscribers have been using to suspend disbelief as Apple’s valuation inched toward, and now above, the $2 trillion mark. Analysts say the manufacturer’s smartphones and computers are selling well, but of course they’d have to be selling well indeed for the company to rack up the highest valuation of any company in the history of the world.

Looking ahead to the inevitable, there’s a limit to how high AAPL can go, and this will necessarily place a limit on how high the stock market itself can go. The Dow Industrials gained a paltry 47 points on Thursday, a divergence in relation to the lunatic stocks — AMZN, CMG, FB, GOOG, MSFT and NFLX — that will grow increasingly worrisome if it persists.  No one seems to have noticed it yet, but if and when they do, investors’ damn-the-torpedoes attitude is certain to prove far more fragile than it now appears.

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August 20th, 2020

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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