Apple releases its first-quarter earnings after the market closes on Thursday in the US.
Companies like Meta Platforms have led to bullish excitement for analysts, and traders can look to the resistance levels in Apple in the event of solid earnings.
AAPL – Daily Chart
AAPL stock has resistance at the $157.50 and $164.25 levels. Traders should focus on these as intraday targets on Friday and use them as a springboard for further gains if the stock exceeds them.
Apple’s announcement will follow a string of tech earnings from the likes of Snap and Microsoft, which have warned of slowing sales. However, better-than-expected outlooks are boosting stock prices, with Meta seeing a 20% rally despite missed earnings.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect little difference from Apple as they expect its first year-over-year earnings decline since 2019. The last time Apple saw a decline in earnings, it was blamed on stagnating smartphone sales. This time analysts suspect the decline results from lockdowns in China and falling smartphone demand amid high inflation.
According to IDC, iPhone shipments were 14.9% lower year-over-year, from 85 million units in Q4 2021 to 72.3 million in Q4 2022. Apple struggled with its supply thanks to the pandemic lockdowns at Foxconn’s plant in Zhengzhou, China.
However, analysts are not only seeing supply pressure, as Bank of America’s Wamsi Mohan wrote recently.
“We view the first half of 2023 as challenged given a somewhat weaker iPhone cycle (both supply and demand issues) and the second half will depend on the next iPhone cycle and contribution from AR/VR,” he wrote.
If Apple’s iPhone sales show weakness, it could cloud the tech sector after the recent bullishness created by Tesla and Meta Platforms. A strong report from Apple could see an extended tech rally over February.