Skewed by Apple

Equities completed their best January since the 1990s on Thursday. The overall market was up 5% as the year started strong and stocks ground higher throughout the month. What makes this performance all the more impressive is that it was accomplished without the world's most valuable company by market capitalization, Apple (AAPL). The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant had its worst monthly performance since 2008 and was down some 15% in January. The shares represent a good long-term entry point at this level, but when sentiment will turn on the shares is something that I will leave to others to speculate.

What is obvious from early earnings reports is that the market set expectations too low for companies that supply components for Apple's products. In part, this is because only in the rarefied world of Apple expectations does selling almost 48 million smartphones in a quarter count as a disappointment. In addition, many of these suppliers have significant presence with other smartphone manufacturers, or have customers outside the space altogether....248 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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