Should Tim Cook be Fired as Apple CEO?

Tim Cook took the reigns as the chief executive of Apple following Steve’s passing in 2011, but is he suited for the responsibility of leading the consumer technology giant into the future? Should Tim Cook be fired? Don’t understate the man; he has confidence in the brand and its products, and so do I.

Apple’s release of the iPhone 5 in September 2012 was on par with my expectations. But its weekend release with 3 million units shipped disappointed investors, driving the $AAPL stock price away from its all-time high of 705. The correction dragged $AAPL down to a share price of 385. Coupled with the nearly 50% drop in share price is the inevitable question being posed by many: should Tim Cook be fired? As he is the highest paid CEO in the world, it’s a fair question.

Pundits will argue that Tim Cook’s departure from Apple, as the outcome of a perceived failure to innovate, is imminent. They must have forgotten how notoriously secretive Apple is and how that approach has boded well for them since the introduction of the iPhone. While traders wallow in fear of Apple’s next product not meeting the demands of the market, thousands of the world’s brightest engineers work behind closed doors to bring to fruition milestones in mobile technology conceived years ago by leading visionaries, undoubtedly including the ideas of the late Steve Jobs. All the while, Apple benefits from their customers’ insatiable appetite for rumors and leaks. It’s free advertising, and Apple is happy to ride the hype.

Apple CEO Time Cook alongside colorful Apple logo

But what if Apple, under the direction of Tim Cook, really has stopped innovating? This to me seems incredibly unlikely. In July of last year, Apple bought biometric technology company AuthenTec. Don’t let the bears fool you; this acquisition was not an effort to one-up Google and Microsoft on screen unlocking, it was to provide on-demand authentication for payments made via the iPhone.

That’s right, mobile payments. Apple’s next revolutionary and highly disruptive offering.

The prospect of Apple facilitating mobile payments has been rumored for years, with the Wall Street Journal at one point saying that the proximity payment technology near-field communication (NFC) would soon be introduced. (Interestingly, we’re unable to find their original article!) Many smartphones already come equipped with NFC, offering consumers the option of paying with services such as Google Wallet at a limited number of brick and mortar points of sale. Google Wallet, while promising, has not taken off.

Suddenly, Apple’s delay in bringing NFC and mobile payments to the market doesn’t seem so dire. But what does Apple stand to gain from NFC, and further, can it save Tim Cook’s career?

I became bearish on $AAPL with the release of the iPhone 4S. I thought that it was a trivial upgrade and that competitors could easily advance beyond Apple in the mobile arena within a year’s time. I was wrong. Unsurprisingly, the handset sold in great numbers and $AAPL rallied. I was however very bullish on $AAPL with their release of the iPhone 5 (wrong again) which was met with lower than expected launch weekend sales triggering a correction to 385.

Regardless of the features that the iPhone 5S will debut to the market, I believe that the best possible outcome will be the introduction of NFC and mobile payments. Considering where shares of $AAPL stand now at 445, color me bullish. Still think Tim Cook should be fired? Count on Tim Cook to keep his job, at least until 2021.

Posted on by Daniel Marquard

Posted in $AAPL, Equities
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Will $SPX Top at 1687.41?

$SPX is nearing completion of an ABCD Harmonic pattern in the S&P 500 from 2011.

Since the March 2009 low of 666.79, the S&P 500 has had two corrections over 15%. We fell 17.074% from April 26th, 2010 to June 28th, 2010, and 21.58% from May 2nd, 2011 to October 4th, 2011. Draw a trend line connecting the last two highs immediately preceding those corrections, and we can see that the current price is close to bumping up against this resistance once again. I believe that sometime in the next month (as early as this week), the $SPX will tag 1687.41 (a BC 224% extended price target off an ABCD Harmonic pattern that completed at 1563.62), coordinating with this multi-year resistance line. These are the three possible scenarios I’m anticipating, in order of likelihood:

  1. We get a “summer top” at 1687.41, correct 5-7% then resume uptrend sometime in late-Q3/Q4 (price target 1766.35).
  2. We get a “summer top” at 1687.41, correct anywhere from 14-22%, then resume uptrend sometime in late-Q3/Q4 (price target 1776).
  3. We blast through resistance at 1687.41 and continue uptrend (price target 1776).

I believe the first scenario is by far the most likely. The last time we touched this overhead resistance in 2011, we first corrected 7%, then bounced back to make higher highs before finally rolling over 21%. This follows very common psychology at market tops. The last leg up in rallies is usually fueled by eager bears and weak longs who move aggressively on the first sell-off. Continue reading

Posted on by Damien Kabbaz

Posted in $SPX, $SPY, ETF, Indices
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Michael $KORS Rated ‘Outperform’ by Wells Fargo

Michael $KORS stock will now be on Wells Fargo’s radar as they begin coverage of the designer apparel equity. Wells Fargo initiated Michael Kors with an outperform rating and 64-68 price target.

Wells Fargo’s announcement of $KORS’s outperform rating comes just before $FOSL reported 2013 first-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ expectations, beating the earnings per share consensus of $0.97 by $0.13, announced earlier this morning. Continue reading

Posted on by Daniel Marquard

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Michael $KORS Closes Above Resistance, Forms Shooting Star

Michael $KORS stock gapped up Friday and rallied after breaking the 58 resistance level, but sold off in the afternoon to close just above resistance at 58.04. The day’s price action formed a bearish shooting star candle on the daily chart.

With the news of low unemployment in the United States released before Friday’s trading session, many stocks gapped up and some rallied, including $KORS. $KORS broke through the 58 resistance level minutes after the market opened and continued to rally to a high of 59.30 before selling off and closing at resistance. Efforts by the bears to push $KORS lower resulted in the formation of a shooting star on the daily chart. Continue reading

Posted on by Daniel Marquard

Posted in $KORS, Equities
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$USDJPY at Critical Level

New Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda has set aggressive goals for the yen that should prove bullish for $USDJPY in the coming years.

There has been a lot of hype around $USDJPY these days. Shortly after Haruhiko Kuroda took the top job at the Bank of Japan, he announced radical steps that aimed at reinvigorating Japan’s economic and price growth. The BOJ’s new monetary easing phase aims to reach a 2% inflation rate by 2015, double the money supply in the economy to 270 trillion yen (2.87 trillion USD) by the end of 2014, and buy government debt in larger quantities and longer term maturities, alongside riskier and higher yielding financial assets. Continue reading

Posted on by Ralph Gebran

Posted in $USDJPY, Foreign Exchange
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$KORS Breaks Out, But Needs Follow Through

$KORS managed to rally hard today and close well above the lower upward channel line and 55.00 resistance, but encountered resistance at 50SMA.

Last night in my article about Michael Kors, I posted about a setup in $KORS to go long on a break above 55.00. $KORS successfully broke out and continued to rally well into the afternoon. I had mentioned that above 55.00, the next resistance would be around 57.75, but @FreeMrktCptlst pointed out that $KORS has resisted the 50SMA for about a month now. Continue reading

Posted on by Daniel Marquard

Posted in $KORS, Equities
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Why Do Women Love Michael $KORS?

What makes women go crazy for Michael $KORS? Is it their taste in fashion? Their range of stylish clothes and accessories? Or just the luxury of owning expensive, mass-produced Veblen goods with Michael Kors’ branding? Whatever the case, these ladies are making $KORS look very attractive.

Michelle Obama in a Michael Kors black sleeveless dress

First Lady Michelle Obama in a Michael Kors black sleeveless dress.

Having become self-employed only in the last year, the products of luxury brands are nowhere to be found on my shopping list. Not the case for the ladies I know. My friends love to go to our upscale mall here in Charlotte, SouthPark Mall, and they’ll find any excuse to nab a new dress, iPhone case, or handbag from the Michael Kors store. Their obsession with Michael Kors is rubbing off on me; I’m eying $KORS for an opportunity to go long for a swing trade.

I seldom venture beyond the technology arena when trading, but I am not above moving outside of my comfort zone as $KORS looks poised for a move higher on the daily chart. Continue reading

Posted on by Daniel Marquard

Posted in $KORS, Equities
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Long Entry in $TWC After Bullish Harami Pattern

$TWC bounced off of the bottom of the upward channel on Friday and gapped up Monday. Time Warner Cable’s stock was up 1.13% to close at 92.31.

I saw a low risk entry in $TWC over the weekend with the formation of a bullish Harami candlestick pattern on the daily chart as well as a bounce off of the lower trend line. Although I should have waited for a gap fill to go long this morning, I impatiently entered long at 91.66 shortly after the markets opened.

Time Warner Cable is scheduled to announce their 2013 Q1 earnings the morning of Thursday, April 25th before the market opens. Wall Street anticipates earnings per share of $1.38 on $5.49 billion in revenue. Continue reading

Posted on by Daniel Marquard

Posted in $TWC, Equities
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Gold Retraces, Creates New Opportunities

In the last four trading days, gold has corrected upwards and is now currently hovering around the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of 1425 on the $XAUUSD chart. This has opened a door to some exciting trade opportunities.

The more aggressive trader may want to sell the metal with a relatively close stop-loss once the level has been confirmed as an area of resistance. Note that large financial institution and investors use Fibonacci retracements, especially the 38.2%, 50% and 61.8% levels, to pinpoint areas of support and resistance. In this case, this will lead to order books accumulating various buy stop-loss and sell-limit orders. Continue reading

Posted on by Ralph Gebran

Posted in $GLD, ETF, Foreign Exchange, Gold, Precious Metals
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What is CISPA and Can it Impact Revenues?

We veer slightly off-topic to address CISPA, impending legislation in the United States that could potentially affect Internet users around the world as well as the bottom lines of Internet businesses in the US.

CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is a bill purportedly aimed at improving Internet security by facilitating the sharing of information between Internet businesses in the United States and the federal government. The bill effectively allows the federal government the right to obtain information on any person, whether a citizen of the US or nation abroad, from Internet businesses based in the United States. CISPA is essentially the Patriot Act for any and all Internet users, sans Fourth Amendment rights.

Under CISPA, the United States government can request the communications and usage activity of almost all Internet users from US-headquarted Internet companies on a whim. That means that your data is susceptible no matter your residence, so long as the website you access is based in the United States.

US residents are not strangers to such initiatives by the federal government to amass the information of its citizens by tapping the Internet. In 2011, a bill was introduced to combat copyright infringement via the Internet. International opposition to the bill was overwhelming, with some major websites partaking in a blackout in protest of the bill for its invasion of privacy. For 24 hours, access to the English Wikipedia was deliberately shut down. Visitors were encouraged to echo their opposition to SOPA by contacting politicians. Government officials in Washington DC took heed of the immense opposition, with many politicians reversing their stance of SOPA. Following the blackout, the bill did not retain majority support and was eventually rejected. Continue reading

Posted on by Daniel Marquard

Posted in Equities
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