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RIM, Google and Microsoft: The Ghoul Trade

apple_store_AP.jpg
AP

Apple is down around 3 percent to 4 percent today on the news of a health-related leave of absence for Steve Jobs. There has been much discussion in the media and among analysts about the "Steve Jobs Premium" and what his day-to-day presence is truly worth in terms of market cap and shareholder value.

But there is another angle to this story that is, shall we say, less discussed. What is the removal of Steve Jobs, on a temporary or permanent basis, worth to Apple's competitors? Apparently, there is a number. The Nasdaq is flat today but all three of Apple's most bitter rivals are higher so far. Granted, Apple makes up almost 20 percent of the tech-heavy Nasdaq so its drop today could have a great deal of influence on that flatness, but still.

Have a peek at the intraday action in Apple versus the Microsoft, Google and Research In Motion in the chart above. I've also thrown in the QQQQ's to show you that the Nasdaq itself is not behind the gains in Apple's competitors' shares today.

What you are witnessing is the Ghoul Trade. Are they making a rational calculation or overestimating the importance of Steve's vision at the company?

Brown is an outside contributor and may hold positions in the stocks discussed here. Read more from Brown at The Reformed Broker______________________________________________________
Companies mentioned in this post

Apple

Microsoft

Google

Research in Motion

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