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Fast Money

‘Career Risk’ Spurs Herd-Like Apple Buyers: Hulbert

When looking for a point at which to sell Apple stock, don’t turn to Wall Street analysts, MarketWatch Columnist Mark Hulbert said Wednesday on CNBC.

“I think the major point is that you never will find from Wall Street the heads-up in advance when you should be selling the stock,” he said on “Fast Money.”

Hulbert, who also heads the Hulbert Financial Digest, likened conventional wisdom about Apple to Enron, which had “just a lopsided a bullish consensus as you find for Apple today.”

“An analyst right now who says, ‘Yeah, you ought to be holding Apple in your portfolio,’ even if he’s wrong, he’s not going to lose his job over it. But let’s say that you say, ‘Stay out of Apple,’ or god forbid, actually go short and the stock keeps going up, you could lose your job over something like that.

There’s a lot of career risk that leads analysts into, basically, herd-like behavior, and so I think it only accentuates and exacerbates the very kind of social phenomenon that we’re talking about.

Trader disclosure: On Sept. 19, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s “Fast Money” were owned by the “Fast Money” traders: Dan Nathan is long AAPL; Dan Nathan is long GS; Dan Nathan is long WFC; Dan Nathan is long SBUX; Dan Nathan is long JCP; Dan Nathan is long PG; Dan Nathan is long AAPL SEPT/OCT 700 CALL SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long JCP OCT/NOV 26 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long GS SEPT 90/80 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long WFC JAN 33/38 RISK REVERSAL; Dan Nathan is long SBUX SEPT 47 PUTS; Dan Nathan is long PG JAN 67.5/62/5 PUT SPREAD; Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU; Karen Finerman is short AAPL Calls; Karen Finerman is long AAPL Put Spread; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is short BAC CALLS; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long MSFT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is long WTW; Karen Finerman is long JCP; Karen Finerman is long GLW; Karen Finerman is short SPY; Karen Finerman is short MDY; Karen Finerman is short IWM; Joe Terranova is short EUR; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long WFM; Joe Terranova is long SWN; Joe Terranova is long AAPL; Joe Terranova is long TRV; Joe Terranova is long VZ; Joe Terranova is long VLO; Joe Terranova is long CSTR; Joe Terranova is long CHKP; Joe Terranova is long EMC; Joe Terranova is long NXPI; Joe Terranova is long AAPL SEPT 655 PUTS; Joe Terranova is short AAPL SEPT 640 PUTS.

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