Why Apple Bulls Annoy Bears, and Apple Bears Upset Bulls
First, consider what I mean by "sports-fanatic territory." Apple moved beyond being a battleground stock surrounded by hot sports opinions. It spawned a considerable core of rabid and fanatical promoters and defenders. This collection of analysts, shareholders and general Apple fans display the type of passion indicative of the diehard sports fan. Their team can do no wrong. When it errs, misses or loses, it was somebody else's fault. And if you challenge its dominance, the fanatics instantly greet you with an onslaught of defensiveness.
For a while, I referred to Apple as "America's Company," in the spirit of "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys. When the Cowboys were good, people from all over the world loved them. You have seen the same sort of thing on a more regional basis with teams like the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears. Those teams have always spawned legions of haters (especially the Cowboys), in large part, because of their passionate and often overzealous supporters.
The haters, however, would have gladly accepted Michael Irvin or Troy Aikman in their prime on their favorite team. The same goes for an Apple bear. Any serious one -- short-term or long-term bearish in nature -- has respect for Apple and would take most players from Apple's team on their team in an instant. That said, a constant sense of annoyance exists.
The bulls annoy the bears; the bears annoy the bulls. This dynamic plays itself out in colorful fashion each day on the Internet via sites such as TheStreet.
As the bulls react, upset and annoyed, to the bearishness, they further annoy the bears. A vicious cycle ensues.
My working theory -- the most ardent Apple bulls took up fanatical status as a defense mechanism after Steve Jobs died. By elevating Apple to a status above any one man, by wrapping it in Teflon and portraying it as untouchable, these bulls could conveniently sidestep any serious consideration of deterioration in a post-Steve Jobs world.
That hypothesis aside, I feel like I fall somewhere in the middle. I have great respect for Apple. Granted, that comes, by and large, because of Steve Jobs. I consider Apple, at the moment, the best company that America, if not the world, has to offer. And I would never fault a person for buying the stock. Loads of excellent reasons exist for going long Apple stock at any price.