As I have watched Apple's stock price rise, I recall what felt like years of stock market manipulation lifting as the year over year sales increases by Apple won out over the pundits (at best) and manipulators.
Bert Dohmen at Forbes has a new article that is a great example of the behavior: Apple: Icon, Icahn Or iGone?
I actually think Mr. Dohmen has a good point when he says, "Remember, market tops are made when everything looks best, not when they are bad." Another possible way to think about it is that money can be made when someone can short stock and then drive down the stock price. FUD - fear, uncertainty, and doubt - and another statement from his article that I agree with but at best creates price uncertainty, is, "My rule: when everyone is in, avoid!"
He talks about "Wall Street firms" competing to raise their future stock price estimate for Apple, and argues that the recent large drop is an example of fund managers starting to get out as the peak is reached.
Then he talks about how Apple is losing market share, and how market share is important to investors. These feel like arguments made over and over again, over years, and are specious. If Apple were to lose market share because somehow the market is growing, it could be a view into a huge future market opportunity for Apple. This can actually be a good sign instead of a sign of doom. This concept seems evident in another Forbes article, Apple Is Starting To Claw Back Some iPhone Market Share. Even Mr. Dohmen states both that Apple is both losing and gaining market share. He says, "Apple is losing market share in the U.S." and in the same paragraph also says, "[...] the iPhone 6 was launched and sales boosted market share above 40% once again." He is using the same analytics data and company. He also says, "Sales in Europe and Japan are lackluster. In Japan, market share dropped a big 15.9%.". Using the same data source, Daniel Eran Dilger says something very different in his appleinsider article, 'Huge' iPhone 6 sales drive iOS to 40% smartphone market share in Australia, US, UK, Japan. Mr. Dohmen's comment about this? He dismisses it, saying "But that was the typical new product bump."
Without referring to share of profits in a market, market share is or can be meaningless. Articles like Mr Dohmen's which carefully avoid such concepts while
Even while talking about Apple Pay, Mr. Dohmen attempts to create new fear and doubt with statements like, ... the competition was ahead of Apple. A competing system is MCX, over two years old. MCX doesn’t have the potential vulnerability of NFC (technology used by Apple)." My question is what potential vulnerability? This sounds like a completely manufactured non-existent vulnerability. In any case no references to this vulnerability are cited by Mr. Dohmen. Another very misleading example is, "competition has virtually destroyed the sales of the vastly overprice iPod." Sales are not as high, but destroyed typically refers to something that is not a dip in sales. And the concept that large iPhone sales might hurt iPad sales, which is of great financial benefit to Apple, is a concept Mr. Dohmen would not touch with a ten foot pole.
I think Forbes should not publish misleading articles like this one. They do seem to publish articles with many different opinions, but when is misleading information something that can be considered legal manipulation?