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Apple vs Qualcomm: We’ve Got No Winner Here

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By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboMarkets

On Dec 10, it became known that the Intermediate People’s Court of Fuzhou acknowledged that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) violated two patents of Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), a chip manufacturer. The patents are regarding photo editing and managing apps with a touchscreen. The court’s decision was banning Apple from importing and selling iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X in China. This does not affect iPhones released in 2018, i.e. iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, though. Curiously, the decision was taken on Nov 30, but the media covered it only on Dec 10.

Over the trading week between Dec 3 and Dec 7, the Apple stock fell from $180 to $168, while as soon as the information became available to the public, the stock went slightly up. although having lost around 2% in the pre-market. Thus, earning by selling this bad news proved impossible.

The stock, however, was unable to recover till $180, still falling now and being in the negative with the overall stock index drop. Did Qualcomm strike Apple so much that investors decided to abandon the stock?

If it were the case, however, and Apple lost so much each time there was legal action against the company, we would not witness a steady uptrend around the last ten years. This is even not the first time Qualcomm files an action against Apple; besides, previously, Apple had to face multiple trials against Samsung, also regarding the patent rights. Currently, Apple is busy patenting everything it can, so that next time it may be the first to file an action.

Meanwhile, despite the court’s decision coming into effect since early December, it is still de-facto ignored, with iPhones still being sold in Chinese stores.

Qualcomm sent some proof to the court and is now demanding the iPhones may be no longer sold, while Apple affirms the decision covered just the previous iOS versions, while iOS12 does not violate any Qualcomm patents. Apple even updated their phone’s firmware last week in order to resolve this issue, but the court did not acknowledge it as a solution. Apple is of course going to appeal the court’s decision now while updating the firmware was more like an attempt to buy some more time.

Qualcomm is sometimes considered as a mobile platform monopolist, and this is confirmed with some anti-monopoly authorities’ decisions in the EU, Taiwan, and South Korea. Qualcomm competition was not at all fair, as the company offered Apple good discounts in exchange for the tech giant’s not purchasing chips from other manufacturers.

In Jan 2017, however, Apple filed an action against Qualcomm worth $1B in the US, as the latter did not return them the cash for those discounts.

Now, it looks like Qualcomm is attempting to take revenge. Besides filing an action in Fuzhou, the chip manufacturer also filed a complaint to the Munich court, which also took Qualcomm’s side on Dec 20. This lead to banning iPhone 7&8 from selling in Germany as well.

However, in order to drive the decision into effect, Qualcomm has to deposit EUR688M on escrow, while Apple still has the right to appeal. Qualcomm still has a potential to deteriorate Apple’s stats for the next few quarters. The Q4 report already confirmed that 1M less iPhones were sold than a quarter before, and this might be just the beginning. Once the report came out, the stock started making new lows, with the court decisions only adding to the negative side.

This looks a bit like the Facebook story, when  investors pushed the stock down just because the number of new users started going down, even while the earning reports were fine, with the 2015 data leakage scandal adding the fuel to the fire.

Qualcomm’s strike against Apple is very painful for the company. The tech giant might have just paid compensation, and this would have been the end. Now, it is becoming quite serious. If Apple is unable to demonstrate the higher than expected sales rise, which has been a common thing over the last time, this may mean the company’s fading out, and the investors will start trying to find a better option. For Qualcomm, on the other hand, this would not mean a 100% win. Over the last three years, the company’s earnings were going down. They had to pay high fines, and the investors are not very interested in buying their shares, with no uptrend emerging.

Their most important rival, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), has meanwhile beaten them in terms of earnings.

Once Qualcomm stopped being able to demonstrate rising revenue, the stock started failing immediately. It reached its high at a bit above $80 in 2014 and has not been able to rise higher yet.

It is currently trading in a tight channel without majorly going up or down, allowing short term traders to capitalize on random choppy moves, with over 30% profit.

Meanwhile, Apple reached its technical top in September, trading at around $230. It tried to go even further in October, but failed, and then the price consolidated, pushed down to the nearest lows. The consolidation was most likely due to the investors expecting the Q4 report. Right before it came out, Apple formed a head and shoulders pattern, which might signal a reversal.

The neckline of the pattern got broken out right at the report, with bad earnings and negative court decisions pushing the price lower.

Where the absolute low lies, is still unknown. The 200-day SMA, however, may be a good reference option, as the price may well bounce off it. Still, with all major US indices going down, Apple price may sink lower, too, forming then a brand new support. This negative trend may only be stopped by a good earnings report with nice sales data.

When it rains, it pours. With the overall indices fall, bad sales, and negative court decisions, Apple is very much under pressure. Note that the moment when the market crowd stops buying and starts selling in panic is usually very unexpected. Those who still believe in the US tech giant should have patience and wait. The markets may calm down after the holidays, and the stock may again prove to be a good long term investment vehicle.

Disclaimer

Any predictions contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboMarkets shall not be held Company for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 30 rated postsHaving majored in both Social Psychology and Economics, I went on to continue my education in post graduate. Later I worked as a team lead of a tech and fundamental analysis lab in the Applied System Analysis Research Institute. This helped me to acquire all necessary skills and experience to become a successful trader and analyst, as well as a portfolio manager in an investment company. I'm a pro in the financial field and the author of articles for various international media. I also hold the position of Chief Analyst at RoboMarkets.




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Analysis

Litecoin Update: Wyckoffian Accumulation Complete

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From a technical perspective, Litecoin (LTC/USD) has effectively ended its bear market. This statement may sound unbelievable to many; even to some bulls. We’ve decayed in a crypto winter for so long that many of us have forgotten what a bull market looks like. We’re so used to seeing bounces fade and eventually get dumped on, that we’ve grown skeptical of rallies.

However, this time it’s different. It truly is, and we have multiple reasons to back up this claim. In this article, we explore the signals that show how Litecoin completed its Wyckoffian Accumulation.

Smart Money Accumulation Complete

A bear market often does not end due to exhaustion. It usually ends because a big player has entered the market to stop the bleeding. This individual or entity, which we’ll refer to as the smart money, absorbs the intense selling pressure of a capitulating market while keeping the price relatively stable. During this period of the market cycle, the smart money accumulate positions.

We believe that Litecoin has already completed this market phase. Its daily chart shows many similarities to a Wyckoff Accumulation Schematic.

Wyckoff Accumulation (Source: Stockcharts)

Preliminary Support

The first similarity is the establishment of a preliminary support (PS). According to the Wyckoffian theory, the PS offers some semblance of support after a prolonged or substantial move down. In Litecoin’s case, it registered a PS of $27 on November 24, 2018. During this time, Litecoin showed signs of stability after weeks of massive selloffs led by Bitcoin’s (BTC/USD) break below $6,000.

LTC/USD Preliminary support

Selling Climax

The second similarity is the presence of a selling climax (SC) or capitulation which occurred on December 7, 2018. On that day, Litecoin recorded lows of $22.24 while generating volume that’s over 115% of its daily average. The heavy volume points to the emergence of a big player. Also, notice how Litecoin managed to stay above $22 for about a week. This is another indication the smart money protected the bottom.

LTC/USD Selling Climax

Automatic Rally

The third similarity is the automatic rally (AR) after the selloff. The AR happens due to the selling relief provided by the conclusion of the SC. With reduced selling, buyers can easily push the price up. In the case of Litecoin, the AR drove the price to as high as $36.78 on December 24.

LTC/USD Automatic Rally

Secondary Test

The fourth similarity to the Wyckoff Accumulation is the secondary test (ST). During this stage of the accumulation, the price revisits previous lows to test the supply and demand. In Litecoin’s case, the ST coincides with the PS at $27.

LTC/USD Secondary Test

Last Point of Support

Like clockwork, Litecoin printed two last points of supports (LPS). The LPS is described as a previous resistance that was flipped into support. For instance, the first LPS was posted on January 13, 2019 when the market was trading at $30. Notice how the market struggled to go above this level between December 17 – 20, 2018. On January 13, Litecoin flipped this into support.

LTC/USD first last point of support

The second LPS of $32 was printed on February 2, 2019. Notice how Litecoin struggled to go above $32 from January 13 to February 1. When the market conquered this level, it did not look back.

LTC/USD second last point of support

Signs of Strength

Lastly, Litecoin showed signs of strength (SOS) on February 8 when it took out resistance of $40 with heavy volume. The volume printed on that day was over 390% of its daily average. To put that into perspective, that was Litecoin’s highest volume in one year.

LTC/USD signs of strength

With so many striking similarities with the Wyckoff Accumulation Schematic, we believe that Litecoin has completed this phase of the market cycle. Next comes the markup, which is most commonly known as the uptrend or the bull run. For this cycle, our minimum target is $110.

Bottom Line

Claiming that Litecoin is ready for a bull run may sound absurd to many. However, we dissected the market’s movement over the last few months and discovered that it has most likely completed a Wyckoffian Accumulation phase. If that’s the case, our minimum target for the markup is $110.

 

Disclaimer: The writer owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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3.9 stars on average, based on 331 rated postsKiril is a CFA Charterholder and financial professional with 5+ years of experience in financial writing, analysis and product ownership. He has passed all three CFA exams on first attempt and has a bachelor's degree with a specialty in finance. Kiril’s current focus is on cryptocurrencies and funds, as he does his own crypto research and is a Product Manager at Mitre Media. He also has his personal website, InvestorAcademy.org where he teaches people about the basics of investing. His ultimate goal is to help people with limited knowledge of finance and investments to create investment portfolios easily, and in line with their unique circumstances.




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Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD on a Potential Launchpad for Another Rocket to the North

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  • The Litecoin (LTC) price remains elevated, as the bulls look at continuing the strong recent run higher.
  • Coinbase Wallet announces support for Litecoin, joining the likes of bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETH).

LTC/USD: Recent Price Behavior

The LTC/USD bulls have resumed upside momentum, following brief and minor pullback observed in the session on Thursday. At the time of writing Litecoin is seen trading up in minor positive territory, with gains of around 1.5%. It is worth noting, since 8th February the price has gained as much as 60%, with the high print up at $53.65 produced on 20th February.

The big chunky jump north came after the price managed to escape a narrowing daily range block formation. LTC/USD was moving within the confinements of this for 11 January to 8th February. The breakout higher was very much explosive, given the prolonged period it has traded within. In terms of the initial spike observed on the 8th, it was a gain of around 45% in a single session.

Coinbase Wallet to Support Litecoin

Coinbase, the leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, announced it will now support LTC on their native Coinbase Wallet. This will allow users to store their LTC directly on the app. The fifth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization will be joining the likes of bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETH).

Users of the Coinbase Wallet are going to have the ability to download a required update with Litecoin support in the coming weeks via the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Storing LTC will be immediately available upon the completion of the update. Users will need to choose the ‘Receive’ option; this can be observed on the main wallet page to deposit LTC into the wallet.

In the official blog announcement, Coinbase said:

“The new Wallet update with Litecoin support will roll out to all users on iOS and Android over the next few weeks. LTC support is activated by default — all you need to do is tap ‘Receive’ on the main wallet tab and select Litecoin to send LTC to your Coinbase Wallet.”

Technical Review – LTC/USD

LTC/USD daily chart.

The Litecoin price has stabilized at heights above the psychological $50 price mark. A near-term area of demand is seen from the $50-$47 price range, which is helping keep LTC/USD propped up. The next upside targets for the bulls are seen just above a supply zone tracking from $55-$57. It last traded up at these heights back in November 2018. Should the bulls manage to maintain upside momentum, then eyes will be on a return into $65 territory, where the next area of supply is tracking.

In terms of support, as detailed earlier, immediate relief is found within the $50-$47 range. If this fails to hold, then a potential chunky wave of selling pressure would likely come into play. The next demand area to the downside runs from $42.50-$39.50; price last traded here between 9-16th February. LTC/USD had briefly consolidated within this zone before a further squeeze to the north occurred.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

 Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 126 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Hold Their Ground as Bulls Take a Breather

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The major cryptocurrencies settled down following yesterday’s Litecoin-led pullback, and as the coins respected the key trendlines and support levels, odds favor the continuation of the short-term uptrend. The leaders of the rally remained strong amid the shallow correction, and although the long-term setup remains clearly bearish, the traders could enter smaller speculative positions, still using strict risk management rules.

While the top coins haven confirmed the short-term swing lows yet, the coming days could see new highs, with all eyes on the $4000-$4050 zone in Bitcoin and the $160 price level in Ethereum. The majors still have to form a pattern of higher highs and higher lows on the long-term charts to change the long-term outlook, so our trend model remains on sell signals on that time-frame. That said, the overbought short-term momentum readings are quickly being cleared, so the short-term outlook remains positive.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin has formed a bullish consolidation pattern in the past day, and the $3850 level has been clearly supporting the coin, leaving the relatively weak short-term uptrend firmly intact. The MACD indicator is still pointing to an ongoing correction, but our trend model remained on a buy signal on the short-term time frame, and the uptrend could soon resume.

Despite the positive immediate outlook, the $4000-$4050 resistance zone is still very strong, and further consolidation is also possible before a successful break-out. A move above that zone could open up the way towards the $4450 level, but even that wouldn’t change the bearish long-term setup in the most valuable coin’s market.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple has been trading near the $0.32 support level in the past 24 hours, still being relatively weak compared to its major peers.  The coin remains stuck below the dominant declining short-term trendline that it tested during the recent upswing, and our trend model continues to be on a short-term sell signal.

Below the primary support zone, further levels are found near $0.30, $0.28, and $0.26, while short-term targets for a possible break-out are still ahead near $0.3550, and $0.3750, but traders should still stay away from XRP

Litecoin, Ethereum, and EOS Look Ready to Lead Again

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Litecoin entered a correction after touching the $51 resistance level yesterday, the pullback has been contained so far and even the steep short-term uptrend line remained intact. Given the extent of the recent move higher, even a test of the $44 level would leave the break-out intact.

A move above the primary resistance zone could lead to a rally towards the $56 level, and as Litecoin has been leading the market during the current counter-trend advance, its performance should be monitored closely. Below $44 further strong support is found near $38, and $34.50, and our trend model is back on a short-term buy signal while being bearish from a long-term standpoint.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum is still trading in a bullish short-term correction pattern near $145, working its way through the overbought short-term momentum readings. The short-term uptrend is clearly intact, and although a deeper pullback is still possible traders could already enter new positions here.

With the long-term downtrend in mind, strict risk management rules are still essential here, even as Ethereum is one of the strongest majors from a short-term technical point of view. Support levels below $145 are still found near $130 and $112, while above $160, the next major resistance zone is ahead near $180.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EOS is still the strongest major from a short-term technical standpoint, and although it continues to be overbought according to the key momentum indicators, aggressive traders could enter positions here. Buying pressure is apparent in the coin, but a deeper pullback towards the $3.50 level is still in the cards. Support is also found near $3.80 and $3, while resistance is ahead near $4 and $4.50.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 470 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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