Well, you may not realize it, but we’ve been essentially in a bull market for the last three years. In any other time in our nation’s economic history, at least in the last 50 years, one could say that our business cycle has come to an end. If you’ll recall historically they’ve taught in the major business schools that the business cycle is three years up, and two years down. Therefore using such theory one could say that we are at the end of this up cycle, and it’s time to pay the piper. Okay so, let’s talk about this problem and shall we?
First, the Dow is now back at 13,000, and this is the first time since the crash of 2008. The NASDAQ is also nearing, or perhaps by the time you read this article it will be at; 3000. There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on March 12, 2012 titled; “A Coming of Age for NASDAQ – As Tech-Heavy Index Nears 3000, Profits and Valuations Differ from Bubble Era,” by Jonathan Cheng.
Right, okay so, this is fairly true isn’t it? It is the tech sector which is running hard and fast, and propping up the NASDAQ at this point. Meanwhile one of the biggest contributors, now the company with the largest market cap in the world, is Apple. And they’ve just come out with their “New iPad” which has sold out at least online within the first four days.
Apple still expects to sell 25 million iPad II’s in 2012. In fact, they only dropped the price $100, and the New iPad (iPad III if you will) is expected to sell 45 million in 2012. Apple also announced that it is building a corporate campus in Austin Texas which will hire 3600 people and cost $304 million. That is a major undertaking for any other type of company, but it really is a drop in the bucket for Apple.
What I’m saying is that since Apple is the major driver right now of the NASDAQ, and it does not seem to be slowing down, it is true that we could see this high point on the NASDAQ continuing. Now then in China with their iPhone, they are actually getting slaughtered in the market share as their chief competitor is up threefold, and iPhone sales are flat. Also, we should understand that the new iPad costs quite a bit more to make, and there is some wage inflation going on at Foxcon, a chief contractor and manufacture for Apple, their profit margin is less than on previous units.
Does this mean that they will not be able to meet analyst’s predictions? Or does it mean the analyst will take that into consideration, and Apple will once again blow the doors off those estimates? We don’t know yet, but if Apple continues to rise and pull the tech sector up with it, that will drive the NASDAQ even higher. So, what does it all mean in the gambling casino of the stock market? It only means the game continues. Indeed I hope you will please consider this as you run with the bulls.