Apple Continues To Hum Along
The market is roughly flat in early trading, despite a very weak home sales figure. Pending home sales fell -16% in November, which was quite a bit worse than the consensus. As I have said, I don't put too much weight on any one housing datapoint, as the monthly data can be lumpy, and it is the overall trend that is more important.
Apple (AAPL) is bucking the weakness so far, and touching new highs this morning. The company seems to be letting out hints about its highly anticipated tablet that is expected to be released this quarter. Here is an article that talks about the upcoming tablet. Additionally, Apple said that 3 billion apps have been downloaded so far from iPhone and iTouch users. That is an astounding number, and one of the reasons why it's hard to see any competitor catching up.
Speaking of competitors, GOOG is set to release its own phone today (the Nexus One), which some may say is a shot at AAPL. I think it could be a nice evolution to GOOG's overall mobile strategy, but I don't see it as a true threat to the iPhone. I would be far more worried if I were one of the other tertiary handset makers like Motorola, Palm, etc.
The dollar is lower again today, which is bolstering commodities. Oil prices are higher near $81.75, and gold prices have topped $1125 today.
Asian markets were higher overnight; the 10-year yield is lower to 3.77%; and the VIX is also lower again, down to 19.68.
Trading comment: Surprisingly strong day yesterday, and a very solid start to the year. Today mostly looks like money is still being put to work, but with the market now solidly in overbought territory, I don't want to chase things here.
If you can find a stock/etf that is breaking out, that is okay. But lots of stocks look extended here, and I think waiting for a pullback is prudent at this juncture. The stair-step market is still intact, so I would step in quickly. I don't see the imminent 10% correction that many are looking for.
long AAPL, GOOG