Apple Shares Attacked, Can Santa Save the Day?

Apple gets crushed, politicians walk towards cliff

In a remarkable Wednesday, the world’s largest company, Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) got crushed, taking the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:QQQ) down as the nation’s politicians took another step closer to the fiscal cliff.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the big news maker for Wednesday as the company’s stock fell 6.4% and shed more than $30 billion in market cap in a single day.  This action also bodes ill for the broader market as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the 900 pound gorilla in the U.S. stock market and, as goes Apple, so goes the market.  The stock is now close to forming a “death cross” sell signal which means the “Apple Indicator” is now flashing bright yellow.

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In the fiscal cliff debate, the wrangling continues as both sides apparently continue to dig into their respective positions.  Now just 26 days remain until the U.S. economy goes over the cliff, however, even more urgently, Congress is scheduled to be in session only seven more days before the Christmas break.

In economic reports, the ISM  Non Manufacturing report beat expectations, factory orders were up but the ADP Employment report was down sharply from last month’s reading.

Europe was mostly higher as the Markit Composite PMI rose to beat expectations but still remained in contraction territory.

And almost unnoticed, Standard & Poors lowered Greece’s rating to selective default in response to the bond buyback program that the country is currently undertaking to get its next round of bailout money.  The agency cut Greece’s credit rating to SD which means selective default from its previous reading of CCC.   This comes on top of a previous reduction in the credit ratings of the European Stability Mechanism and European Financial Stability Facility by Moody’s a few days ago after the earlier downgrade of France which cost the country its AAA rating.

Major  U.S. Indexes:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: (NYSEARCA:DIA) +0.64%

S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) +0.16%

Nasdaq 100 (NYSEARCA:QQQ) -1.12%

Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) -0.19%

Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) -0.18%

Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) -0.57%

Thursday brings weekly jobless claims and more news on the fiscal cliff.

Bottom line: Major U.S. stock and ETF markets remain in flux as the fiscal cliff debate continues and market leader, Apple, gets crushed.  Expect more volatility ahead.

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John Nyaradi is the author of The ETF Investing Premium Newsletter.