Is Apple succumbing to the curse of the Dow?

Options Action: Apple & the curse of the Dow

It's been roughly three months since Apple replaced AT&T in the average, and during that time period, the stock and index have remained relatively flat. Meanwhile, AT&T shares have rallied more than 4.5 percent during that period.

"The 'curse of the Dow' is alive and well," strategist Nicholas Colas wrote Monday in a research note, referring to an old market watcher's belief that the stocks that join the Dow Jones Industrial Average tend to underperform the ones they are replacing.

Of course, the theory doesn't always mean bad news for the stock. Since 2009, the stocks that have been included in the Dow have posted an average 3-month return of 6.7 percent.

Apple shares started the year off with a torrid run, rallying nearly 17 percent in the first two months of the year, only to move sideways ever since. But according to Colas, chief market strategist at Convergex, a global brokerage company based in New York, it appears that the "good news was already baked into Apple's slice of the Dow pie."

Options expert and CNBC Contributor Dan Nathan said despite seeing some unusually high options volume in the stock of late, he doesn't expect Apple shares to break out of the current range for at least a couple of months.

"Options volume ran [nearly 1.5 times] its volume Monday," Nathan, founder of, said Monday on CNBC's "Fast Money." This, he added, is unusual given the stock has been trading lower. "The stock has found some support and I think it needs a catalyst to really see a move. That's coming in the fall."

Apple shares were negative in early Tuesday trading.