It's Not Apple, It's The 'Fiscal Cliff,' Stupid
It is remarkable the extent to which every bearish argument has now been proven true all because the stock has dropped. Every pundit is now a genius -- from those who once proclaimed the company can't defy gravity when the stock traded at $250, to those that scream "cannibalization" with every product release.
These self-proclaimed masterminds seem to have forgotten that Apple is not the only stock suffering, but it is the result of this looming threat called the "fiscal cliff." But I don't blame them. After all, why allow facts to get in the way of a good self promotional opportunity?
The presidential election is over. Though this event has answered several questions, still, it has left many unanswered. Anyone who has been in the stock market long enough knows that "uncertainty" is its worst enemy. Consequently, investors have started to apply theory known as "the bird in the hand."
Again, I can't fault anyone for opting to preserve capital, but don't embarrass yourselves and get carried away with the rhetoric. Wanting to be right at every turn has become too convenient.
Pundits want to pick on Apple -- I get it. The same way bulls wanted to be the first to apply triple-digit price targets when things were going well, bears want to now be the first to call the low -- it makes for a great story. But whatever happened to personal responsibility?
It's The "Fiscal Cliff" Stupid!
For those who don't know, on January 1, there are potential spending cuts as well as tax increases that are anticipated to go into effect. This is known as the "fiscal cliff." However, this can be avoided if a compromise is reached by Congress. The magnitude of this agreement is pretty significant as anything other than an agreement have economists projecting upwards of 5% drop in GDP.
Should this happen, there is no way to avoid another recession -- resulting in weak corporate profits and high unemployment. What's more, there is also the threat of meaningful reforms to tax policies including tax cuts from former President Bush that are due to expire.
Likewise, there are payroll taxes as well as concerns over income tax rates that are likely to rise by 5%. Not to mention the threat of current tax breaks for certain businesses that may vanish. What's more, equally impactful and perhaps the major cause of all of this selling is that capital gains taxes are expected to climb from 15% to 20%.