Apple’s Sell-Off into Earnings Isn’t Typical: Pros

It seems all anyone can talk about on Wall Street is Apple’s earnings report, what to expect and how to trade it.

With results due Tuesday after the bell, skepticism seemed to be growing after several data points suggested weakness in the iPhone numbers.

To make the trading environment all the more treacherous for bulls, the stock is down more than 10% from its 2012 highs and declining into the earnings release.

“That’s unusual. Typically the stock runs up into earnings. We have a different dynamic here,” explains analyst Toni Sacconaghi, Sr Analyst Sanford Bernstein on CNBC’s Fast Money. “The set up is usually very bullish.”

Now what?

3 of the Fast Money traders think Apple continues to sell off post earnings.

“Apple needs a blockbuster quarter to reverse the negative momentum,” explains trader Joe Terranova. And he doesn’t think it’s going to happen after earnings. “Technically the stock looks terrible. It’s going down on significant volume,” he says.

“It’s overdue for a pullback,” adds trader Josh Brown.

“I’d also say you have to be a seller of Apple,” adds trader Steve Grasso. “I think the negative price action is indicative of what the investing community is thinking.” (Grasso believes weakness in Apple is due to portfolio managers cashing out - and getting ready for the Facebook IPO.

However if earnings give the bears a reason to really pile on the stock, then, Josh Brown says get ready to pull the trigger.

“If bears kill Apple stock down to $520, I’d be all over it,” says Brown. "And in the event Apple drags down the tech broadly, I'd buy related names such as Qualcomm or NetApp .

"On a pull back, I'd look at NXPI as a play on iPhone 5," says Terranova.

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Trader disclosure: On April 24, 2012 , the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long MCD; Joe Terranova is long NXPI; Joe Terranova is long JPM; Joe Terranova is long JOY; Joe Terranova is long HPQ; Joe Terranova is long LQD; Steve Grasso is long ABX; Steve Grasso is long CUBA; Steve Grasso is long GERN; Steve Grasso is long HPQ; Steve Grasso is long HSPO; Steve Grasso is long MU; Steve Grasso is long NEM; Steve Grasso is long NYX; Steve Grasso is long P; Steve Grasso is long PRST; Steve Grasso is long VVUS; Steve Grasso is long XRX; Steve Grasso is long ZNGA; Steve Grasso is long FDX; Steve Grasso is long TBT; Steve Grasso is long UAL; Josh Brown is long AAPL; Josh Brown is long EMC; Josh Brown is long NTAP; Josh Brown is long JPM; Josh Brown is long COP; Simon Baker is long AAPL; Simon Baker is long BAC; Simon Baker is long GS; Simon Baker is long JPM; Simon Baker is long MS; Simon Baker is long GLD; Simon Baker is long XLF; Simon Baker is long IBM; Simon Baker is long WMT; Simon Baker is long ADSK; Simon Baker is long DELL; Simon Baker is long IBM

For Whitney Tilson
Whitney Tilson is long NFLX

For Toni Sacconaghi
Bernstein currently makes a market in the following companies AAPL

For Bryan Elliott
Raymond James & Associates makes a market in shares of PNRA
Raymond James & Associates makes a market in shares of BWLD

For Mark Zgutowicz
Piper Jaffray received non-investment banking securities-related compensation from the following companies during the past 12 months: VCI
Piper Jaffray makes a market in the securities of LNKD with wires.