Apple Closes Stores in Response to Coronavirus Spread

Most analysts are still bullish on the tech giant

Assistant Editor
Mar 16, 2020 at 11:12 AM
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Shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) are down 8%, last seen trading at $255.67 after the tech giant closed all of its retail stores for the next two weeks to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, save for its 42 stores in China that reopened on Friday. Separately, news that the iPhone maker was fined a record $1.2 billion by French antitrust regulators for breaking anti-competitive agreements with suppliers is also making a blip Wall Street's radar. 

Today's drop puts AAPL at a four-month low, and brings its year-to-date deficit to 13.5%. The equity's 200-day moving average could act as a silver lining, however. Apple is testing support at this trendline today, and just staged a bounce off the region late last week.  

Analysts are still extremely bullish on AAPL. Of the 26 reporting firms, 19 are sporting a “buy” or better. Meanwhile, six say now is the time to “hold” while one lone analyst recommends a “strong sell” position. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $329.15 sits at a solid 30.8% premium to current levels. 

Short sellers are on their way out, too. Short interest fell off by 29.1% in the most recent reporting period. The 29.01 million shares sold short now represent a slim 0.7% of the stock's float, or less than a day at AAPL's average pace of trading. 

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