Can Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL) Keep the Rallies Going?

AAPL and GOOGL bounce as the broad market rallies

Jan 22, 2016 at 3:21 PM
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Amid the broad-market rally, tech favorites Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are both trading higher today. But while AAPL's iPhone is generally in direct competition with smartphones running GOOGL's Android operating system, the companies still see overlap in at least one area -- and GOOGL is willing to pay for it. A transcript from Oracle Corporation's (NYSE:ORCL) ongoing lawsuit against GOOGL revealed that the company paid AAPL a sum of $1 billion in 2014 to keep its place as the default Internet search engine on AAPL's mobile devices.

GOOGL was a technical beast last year, adding nearly 47% in 2015 and hitting an all-time high just below $800 in late December. The shares are up 2.5% at $744.92 today, paring their year-to-date loss to about 4% -- and analysts appear optimistic that new highs are ahead. An impressive 94% of brokerages currently call the stock a "buy" or better, without a "sell" in sight.

On the other hand, option traders seem to expect the pullback to continue. GOOGL's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is 0.83 -- higher than 89% of readings in the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, AAPL has been troubled lately by reports of slumping iPhone orders. While the stock more than doubled between May 2013 and June 2015, the shares have shed 25% since tapping their all-time high of $134.54 last year. AAPL is looking to close above the century level for the first time in more than two weeks, up 4.5% today at $100.61.

Short interest on AAPL dropped by 37% during the last two reporting periods, and now accounts for only 1.2% of the stock's float. Some of these short sellers likely bought back their shares to lock in a profit as AAPL continued its slump in recent weeks -- and as a result, the stock now has relatively little in the way of sideline cash to fuel future rally attempts.

For now, shareholders of both companies are holding their breath to see if today's rallies will continue. Looking ahead, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will report its quarterly earnings next Tuesday, and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will report on Feb 1.

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