The markets were suspiciously subdued Sunday night — developing thrust, perhaps, for the next maniacal surge. In retrospect, it seems remarkable that the broad averages were able to sustain an upward trajectory in recent weeks even as the most valuable stock in the world, Apple (AAPL), was getting savaged. (Breaking news: Apple has fallen to second place, its cap value now exceeded by that of Exxon-Mobil (XOM).)
The stock has plummeted 37% since September, from an all time high of $705 to Friday’s shell-shocked low of $435. It must be conceded that even at $705, AAPL was not egregiously overpriced relative to earnings. Presumably, Wall Street’s renowned shakedown artists have been intent on driving AAPL down to bargain-basement prices because they’re so confident they’ll be able to goose the stock back into the ionosphere before their 2013 bonuses are calculated. Well, it’s optimists that make the world go ‘round, so perhaps we shouldn’t be so churlish as to deny them the spoils of such deftly executed opportunism.
For our part, we’ve hated the stock market each and every step of the way up since, oh, 2009. But it’s not as though we’re sore losers. In fact, much of the time, we not only had the rallies nailed, we were able to profit from them on the way up — and even to short them when they reached swing highs nicely foreseen by Hidden Pivot analysis.
We recently attempted this gambit once again as the E-Mini S&Ps approached an important rally target at 1494.50. We came especially eagerly to this task, since we’d just come off a bullish ride from, effectively, 1433.
But discretion prevailed over valor, and we backed away with the futures glowering menacingly near 1500 as last week ended. Unapologetic permabear that we are, a thrust above 1500 would only increase our determination to short the top of this nearly four-year-old bullish stampede.
Be assured that this reflex is not be based on some vague hunch, or even on the suspicion that a rally launched from 1500 would be the perfect way for Mr. Market to set the Mother of All Bull Traps. No, we have a very specific target in mind, and it is based on a chart pattern that looks extremely likely to produce a short-able top, if not necessarily The Top.