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How Low Will Apple Go?

After closing lower for the fifth day in a row, Apple shares are hanging low on the bough

by 4/17/2012 8:10:16 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

How far do you have to go back to see shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) as severely oversold as they are right now?

The last time AAPL experienced a multi-day sell-off lasting five or more sessions -- and taking the stock to oversold levels -- was back in late September, as the stock was heading toward what turned out to be a major turning point in the market in the form of the fall 2011 lows.

From that sell-off last autumn -- a sell-off during which Apple shares fell for seven consecutive sessions (and nine out of 10) -- AAPL reversed sharply, gaining over the next five days and climbing by more than 14%. To date, AAPL is up more than 57% from that massive correction.

Are there any lessons from that pullback for this one? While it is true that Apple's strong snapback rally was a testament to the ability of stocks to bounce -- and bounce hard -- after being driven into oversold extreme territory, potential investors and traders in AAPL may be even better served by keeping in mind that the selling that took Apple lower last fall could certainly happen again, potentially making the stock's current oversold levels look more moderate, if not outright mild, by comparison.

For all of the Apple critics, detractors, and outright haters, there remains a bid beneath the company that has, for all intents and purposes, kept the S&P 500 Index (SPX) high and climbing for months. Apple, historically speaking, has not been allowed to fall very far or very long before traders have tended to sense value and come off the sidelines to buy. Heading into trading today, Apple also has a sizable, short-term positive edge of nearly 3%.

Note that while sellers were taking Apple shares lower again on Monday -- and Google (GOOG) shares as well, which are off almost 3% -- other major technology stocks, such as Intel Corporation (INTC) were moving higher on the first trading day of the week, up 1% midway through the session. The primary technology exchange-traded fund (ETF), the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) remains oversold, however, trading lower by more than 0.5% and closing in the red for a second day in a row.

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David Penn is Editor in Chief of TradingMarkets.com

Disclaimer: The views represented in this column are those of the individual authors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Schaeffer's Investment Research.

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