“Apple to Hit $1 Trillion in Market Value in 2018,” proclaims the Dec. 23 Barron’s cover.
— Barron’s (@barronsonline) December 23, 2017
Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management isn’t buying the curse. The weekend chatter “is a useless, facile observation that maybe we shouldn’t waste too much time with. Maybe we should just shut up already,” said Brown in his Reformed Broker blog posted Saturday.
But that’s not to say he’s willing to ignore human nature entirely.
‘What you say about magazine covers is more indicative of what you want to be true than anything else. It’s not a magazine, it’s a f***ing mirror.’
Magazine cover stigma, even with a favorable slant to the story, began with jinxed championship proclamations on the front of Sports Illustrated but have expanded to stocks.
Memorably, Jeff Bezos was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 1999. Amazon.com’s AMZN, -0.54% stock dropped from a high of $113 in December that year to $5.51 in October 2001. Of course Amazon closed on Friday at $1,168.
There are no serious professionals who change their portfolio allocations based on magazine cover indicators, wrote Brown. “People who were already predisposed to agreeing with the premise of a Barron’s cover story will enjoy the confirmation it offers,” he said. “Those who were already predisposed to have the opposite opinion will hold it up as evidence that the current trend has reached the end of the line.”
As for the Barron’s piece itself, the authors say at $899 billion already, Apple is easily the closest company to a $1 trillion market valuation, and its iPhone X, along with a rising stream of service revenue, looks likely to get it there.
“We don’t think the peak is near. Apple seems to be escaping its product supercycle peaks and troughs to post more-consistent year-to-year growth,” Barron’s wrote. “That could have a lasting effect on the stock’s valuation, based on what Wall Street pays for other steady growers.”