This was one of the slowest AAPL trading days I can remember. A range of exactly four points. An extended period trading within a range of one point. A lack of resolution of the 500-505 upper airspace in which AAPL is still battling resistance. Again.
It was just, so, boring to watch for much of the day.
And yet, did one of two things “change” at market close? Did AAPL give a potential signal, however small, that consolidation may soon be at an end? Well, let’s go to the charts!
Looking first at the 15-min chart: Actually, there’s potentially something considerably different, if only in terms of potential price action formations. You probably noticed that for a potential H&S, AAPL isn’t exactly breaking below any plausible necklines. And if you were a believer in the micro bear flag route, AAPL has dropped below 500 more than once, but it keeps bobbing back above that level.
In my humble opinion, the descending channel/wedge theories suddenly make a lot more sense now that AAPL has the entire trading week under its belt, so to speak. You can take a look at my revised descending channel (now fits AAPL’s price action) and price wedge (upper descending channel trendline, line at 500 or 498ish, take your pick) and decide for yourself, if you like.
But I actually did have the descending channel/wedge hypotheses on my radar (and scribbled) as of mid-day trading. What I might’ve missed was the price action right at the end of the day. Notice that price spike above 500 “purgatory” near the end of the day? Here’s a closer look (5-minute chart):
It’s hard to see, it’s within the “margin of error” in terms of the trendline, but it’s definitely there. In the space of ten minutes, AAPL made a sudden mini-run above 500, approaching 502, with some very quick selling activity that tried but failed to bring AAPL back to 500.xx at the end of the day.
Does that count as resolution to the upside? I didn’t think so, and I could be hilariously wrong on Monday. But I’m not dismissing this small-yet-noticeable burst of bullish activity out of hand just yet. Even though premium sellers probably declared victory quite some time ago, I don’t usually notice “strength” like that into the close. We’ll just have to see what happens Monday.
Moving on to the hourly chart:
Consolidation continues quite nicely, really, but even as the MACD-h reading improves (approaching the zero point), resolution remains elusive. The BBs are once again narrowing further, with AAPL trading just about mid-channel. The Williams oscillator is indicating AAPL handled its micro-oversold condition fairly well, but it, too, isn’t exactly what you’d call a “buy” signal. Meanwhile, the accelerated trendline inches ever closer, and is on course to meet AAPL at present levels on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see how AAPL trades around that trendline. (By the way, the “base” upper trendline of the price channel I’d been tracking the past couple weeks or so will cross over about 490 on Monday.)
No real surprises on the daily chart (in case you were wondering, the line-obscured red candle is fairly unremarkable, a not-quite-hammer):
The trend still looks very strong until proven otherwise, and as AAPL remains in “pause”, notice the relative lack of retrace compared to the pre-earnings and pre-Icahn/iPhone announcement news intervals. MACD-h is still dipping, but AAPL’s still trading sideways, so no surprise there to me. The EMA-8 continues to catch up to AAPL, now at 497ish and looking to drift closer to 500 by next week. Meanwhile, tens of points below, the lower BB (as a semi-indicator of price support, in my opinion) continues its ascent, currently at 435ish.
Can a retrace be ruled out? No way, in my opinion! Continuation patterns can involve fairly substantial drops in price before the move higher, as we’ve recently seen. And we’ll only know if AAPL was actually in a third uptrend continuation pattern (for this uptrend) in retrospect. But if I had to guess, I’d say the current bias is neutral-to-ever-so-slightly bullish. That may not seem like much for AAPL bulls, but it’d be a singificant improvement over that micro sort-of-H&S that now looks somewhat less likely to trigger.
Have a good weekend.