Apple shares are heading for their worst month of 2023 so far. The launch of the iPhone 15 still isn’t helping the stock.
(ticker: AAPL) shares were down 0.4% at $169.79 in early trading on Thursday. On Wednesday, the stock closed at its lowest level since early May.
Apple is down 9.3% this month so far, putting it on pace for its worst month of the year since December last year, when it fell 12%. It’s also on pace for its worst quarter since the second quarter of 2022.
What’s behind the gloom and what comes next?
John Roque, senior managing director at 22V Research, is repeating his previous call that Apple shares are still in correction after surging in the summer. He says Apple could fall to $150, based on the company’s stock chart and past corrections after gains.
Fellow chart watchers at technical-analysis provider Phases & Cycles also argue Apple was overbought when it surged to close to $200 in July but are more positive about the trajectory from here.
“There is good support near $165-170; only a sustained decline below this level would be negative. A decisive rise above $190 would suggest the resumption of the uptrend toward higher targets,” said Phases & Cycles’ analyst Monica Rizk.
For those investors looking for fundamentals, the recent newsflow around Apple hasn’t been that positive since the launch of the iPhone 15. The Wall Street Journal reported late on Wednesday that the high-end iPhone 15 Pro appears to be suffering from overheating issues, based on tests and buyer comments.
Apple didn’t comment to the WSJ and didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Barron’s.
More broadly, Apple looks to be suffering alongside other technology stocks from expectations shifting toward a higher-for-longer interest-rate environment. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index is down more than 9% from its July highs.
The next stock-specific catalyst for Apple will likely be more concrete data on demand for the iPhone 15.
While signs from the preorders were for solid demand across its range, analysts at UBS said in a research note this week that some consumers might be trading down to less expensive devices in Europe, while Chinese demand could be affected by macroeconomic pressures. They kept a $190 target price on Apple stock and a Neutral rating.
Analysts at Evercore were more optimistic, noting a survey of 4,000 people found aggregate demand for the iPhone 15 was higher than for the iPhone 14 and there was a sustained increase in demand for the pricier Pro and Pro Max models. Evercore’s Amit Daryanani maintained an Outperform and $210 price target on Apple stock.
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