By now, you’ve probably hear a dozen reasons why (AAPL) is selling off.
There’s the law of large numbers – that is, Apple’s market cap is too big for its own good. Then there’s chatter about Steve Jobs and whether Apple can innovate without him.
But Jim Cramer says none of that matters.
“Apple is going down for one simple reason. The vast majority of people who own the stock have big capital gains, and those gains will likely be taxed at higher rates next year,” said the Mad Money host.
Capital gains are one of many elements of the fiscal cliff – the confluence of spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect at the beginning of 2013. Cramer believes investors are selling their shares of Apple and booking profits in 2012 – so they can pay less tax.
“I expect the selling to go on as long as people have big gains,” he said. “Conversely, it should let up when you can’t get the tax break anymore.” (i.e January)
Confused? Think of it like this.
“If I told you that sales taxes are going to go up, maybe big, on large screen TVs come 2013 and you wanted one, wouldn’t you buy it before the year ended? Believe me, it’s the same calculation with selling Apple,” said Cramer. “It’s as simple as that.”
If Cramer is right, weakness in Apple will likely continue – for now.
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