Update: AAPL: If Market Can Stabilize Apple Should Outperform and Retake $400 on iPhone5

by Dan August 17, 2011 11:39 am • Commentary

Update Aug 17, 2011:  I suggested this trade when the market was at the lows of the sell-off, and I didn’t exactly want to be a hero by buying the stock at $355 in front of who knows what was too come….the structure that I bought below, achieved my goal by getting some long exposure on a puke, even-though AAPL held up very well on a relative basis to the Nasdaq.  I am going to sell this spread at 11.20 with the stock at $380 for a 4.20 profit.  Stock has performed fairly well off of the low, but the next move higher will be driven by iPhone5 announcement and release……best guess at this point is an announcement in mid to late Sept and a release in Oct.  On the next market sell off I will look to roll this out to Oct.

Original Post Aug 9, 2011: AAPL: If Market Can Stabilize Apple Should Outperform and Retake $400 on iPhone5

AAPL is just one of those stocks that everyone wants to own whether it is making all time highs at 400, or falling 3% a day in the wake of the market turmoil over the last week……The chart below demonstrates the relative performance that AAPL has shown in the last month since the SPX topped out on July 7th, or almost 17.5% ago……AAPL IS ACTUALLY UP IN THAT SAME TIME PERIOD, BUT NOW DOWN ~12% FROM IT’S JULY 26TH ALL TIME CLOSING HIGH.

1 yr SPX vs AAPL from Bloomberg


Last Night on CNBC’s Fast Money program I offered a way to play for a potential rebound back towards the highs by Sept expiration.  I wanted to look to Sept as it is very likely there will be the announcement of the iPhone5 (possibly followed by the release) in that time period.  AAPL is just one of those stocks that runs in anticipation of huge product releases.


The goal here is to define my risk while offering a structure that has a relatively palatable payout potential.

TRADE:  AAPL $355: Buy Sept 375/400 Call Spread for 7.00

-Buy Sept 375 Call for 11.00 and

-Sell Sept 400 Call at 4.00

Break-Even On Sept Expiration:

Losses btwn 375 and 382, lose up to 7.00, below 375 lose all 7.00 (or 2% of the underlying)

Profit btwn 382 and 400, make up to 18.00, above 400 make full 18.00

TRADE RATIONALE:  Readers of this site know that I continue to be cautious here and fear more pain to come, and even names like AAPL are not immune the massive gyrations of the market….. even though the stock has held up well on a relative basis over the last month, if there is a second leg of this downdraft the stock will not be spared.  Even with implied vols elevated, I want to buy premiums to play stories like this in markets like this in an effort to define my risk.