The old joke was that Apple was the NASDAQ, because not only was it the star of the tech-heavy index, it repeatedly became so large that the index had to dilute its weighting.
Those days of tremendous share price appreciation are over. It is hard for Apple to double, let alone be a 100% so-called ‘10 bagger’. Apple’s market value of $500 billion is $71 for every human, which is what a billion people live on for two months. As such, the sheer scale of Apple versus the world is a limit of sorts.
Apple is now a volatile version of the NASDAQ, and over the slump and rally of summer and autumn it has underperformed the general index. That feels like new behaviour because if Apple had tracked the NASDAQ since 2009 it would be at $40 a share, not the current $120.
The market in general may now be in a bear market, so unless Apple pulls a rabbit out of its hat, 2016 could turn into hard work for the stock price.