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(Quartz)   Why did Apple close at exactly $500? TL;DR version: We are all pawns of the 1%, and that includes Apple   (qz.com) divider line 51
    More: Obvious, call options, put options, the local, trading day, stock options  
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3083 clicks; posted to Business » on 19 Jan 2013 at 11:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-19 10:36:22 AM
That website needs more frames.
 
2013-01-19 10:42:46 AM

Ed Finnerty: That website needs more frames.


Holy shiat that site is awful. One tip for website designers: the only thing I actually care about is the content, so make sure you aren't burying it behind a ton of stuff.

One more tip? When I hit the spacebar, I expect the page to scroll. This is basic functionality. Don't make your menu do the scrolling, and for the love of ass, don't put the cursor directly into a search box.
 
2013-01-19 10:56:33 AM
What is this, the Metro interface for websites?
 
2013-01-19 11:15:43 AM
That website was far more easily navigatible on my iPad than it was on my desktop. They seem to be making the same mistake that Microsoft did with Windows 8, though: there are still going to be many times where I'm having to use the standard mouse & keyboard to control my computer and I do not have a touch screen.
 
2013-01-19 11:29:15 AM
"Michael Donohoe is the Product Engineering Director for Quartz. [...] When he first started, tables where considered the standard for web site layout and IE6 was cutting edge."

*guffaw*
 
2013-01-19 11:59:17 AM
Stories like this make me strongly consider becoming a terrorist, and attacking Wall Street.

Planned well, and with a clearly stated "fark these guys and the stolen money they rode in on" message, I'd expect a spat of "I'm ok with this" reaction as the story hit the media.
 
2013-01-19 12:13:04 PM

grinding_journalist: Stories like this make me strongly consider becoming a terrorist, and attacking Wall Street.

Planned well, and with a clearly stated "fark these guys and the stolen money they rode in on" message, I'd expect a spat of "I'm ok with this" reaction as the story hit the media.


Oh, wah. It's not like it closed at $500 instead of $450 or $550 because of the options close, or even $495 or $505. It closed at exactly $500 instead of $499.25 or $500.75. If that's your threshold of becoming a terrorist, you should seriously see a shrink or something.
 
2013-01-19 12:44:03 PM

Ed Finnerty: That website needs more frames.


On mobile its 100 times worse, can't even scroll as it keeps interpreting any touch as a click and moving the page or going to another article.

Stupid web designer that wants to show off
 
2013-01-19 01:10:30 PM

Manfred J. Hattan: Oh, wah. It's not like it closed at $500 instead of $450 or $550 because of the options close, or even $495 or $505. It closed at exactly $500 instead of $499.25 or $500.75. If that's your threshold of becoming a terrorist, you should seriously see a shrink or something.


i830.photobucket.com

Firstly, I do see a shrink, and we agree that my irrational rage against things I can't control is something I need to work on.

Secondly, it's not the price itself- it's the fact that this demonstrates how far from the normal behavior of an economy of scale this type of activity is. This emphasizes the fact that to a small, but very influential segment of society, the financial markets are their playground, not their workplace. This hammers home the fact that the American people (and the world) will continue to be lied to and manipulated through the machinations and designs of a moneyed few who don't care if they wreck corporations, investment values, and the livelihood of millions who have toiled longer and harder for their money than these people ever will, so long as "they get theirs". I honestly hope that the economy will double down on the great recession as a number of economists predict it will, because a significant reduction in personal luxury and lifestyle will be the only thing to get Americans off their couches and into the streets with axes and torches.

I was approached by an "Occupy" fellow on the street, collecting signatures in protest of this, that, or the other thing while in Chicago recently. When he asked if I'd sign to show support for his movement, I asked him "Are you guys burning down buildings and killing people yet?" He looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. I said "So long as all you're doing is getting names on a piece of paper, the people who work in the positions you say are causing all of the problems don't have anything to fear, and you won't hear anything from them but laughter. Who will get taken more seriously by ANYONE- you, a broke college student on the street wailing at the sky, or a multimillionaire? Call me when you stop being completely ineffectual and take up fire and arms against those you complain about. I'll be first in line to get a torch."

What will the threshold for becoming a terrorist (patriot/rebel/freedom fighter) be for people? I was hoping that when it was revealed that the American government can imprison or kill American citizens without due process, it might upset folks enough to effect real change. This did not happen. Will it be when the FBI can throw me in jail for writing a post like this on the internet? I'd wager that there are already many in this country who'd like to see me in jail just for espousing these feelings, and I can't tell you how depressed that makes me, and how bleak the future of what was once the greatest nation on the face of the earth now seems.

I don't have an answer regarding how to resolve these issues, since those with the money and power will fight tooth and nail to keep anything like this from happening; just look at the USA PATRIOT act. An act passed in a time of national tragedy, with a name that no politician could ever hope to vote against, that does a convenient end-around to rights and freedoms that millions have died defending over the centuries. It saddens me that this is the nation in which my children will grow up. I'd prefer living under the threat of instant nuclear annihilation in the '60s (minus the institutional racism and sexism), because at least then, the enemy had a name, and a face. It's hard to wage a war against an enemy that is on the same side as the government you'd protect it from.

/that was way longer than I meant it to be
 
2013-01-19 01:27:31 PM
The odds of the stock closing at exactly $500 are not significantly different than the odds of it closing at any other price around $500.

If you think that the stock closing at a nice, round number holds any significance you're a complete moron.
 
2013-01-19 01:49:17 PM
Vegan Meat Popsicle
You're forgetting the much larger population of non-$500.0000 numbers.

A fix is on.
 
2013-01-19 01:55:52 PM
A large batch of both put and call option contracts centered around 500$ is only a theory and even if it is true then so what?
 
2013-01-19 01:59:45 PM
I keep clicking this link because it's just such an abysmal experience.

I can tell there was a lot of talent behind this, and they really wanted to go for a "slick" interface. But sometimes simpler is better.
 
2013-01-19 02:00:07 PM
AAPL is over. Let it go.

If you haven't already gotten rich from it, then you aren't going to.
 
2013-01-19 02:06:49 PM
grinding_journalist:

Awesome read and sad to, best of luck we will both need it.
 
2013-01-19 02:07:29 PM
Sad too.

Sigh
 
2013-01-19 02:10:37 PM
This article had a good break down of the recent fall of apple stocks
 
2013-01-19 02:11:58 PM
Subby?

Do you mean that we AND Apple are all pawns of the 1%

Or that we are all pawns of the 1% and the 1% includes Apple?
 
2013-01-19 02:14:02 PM
Since this site won't load on my computer for some reason I don't know if the stock closing at precisely $500.00 is more unusual than if it closed at precisely $503.76 or precisely $482.31.
 
2013-01-19 02:31:01 PM
Vegan Meat Popsicle
You're forgetting the much larger population of non-$500.0000 numbers.


Since the stock closes ~ 250 times/year, you don't see how it could possibly land on an even number even once? It is barely worth a comment when my once/week grocery bill comes up even, much less a stock which closes every day. When EVERY stock on the exchange closes at an even number, let me know.

Yes, people in power on Wall Street need to be taken down and shot, but making up conspiracies based on a statistically likely occurrence DOES NOT HELP.
 
2013-01-19 02:32:15 PM

Ghastly: Since this site won't load on my computer for some reason I don't know if the stock closing at precisely $500.00 is more unusual than if it closed at precisely $503.76 or precisely $482.31.


It's an options expiration thing. Finishing right on the nose is actually pretty rare but often stocks trade closer to their options' closest strike price than it might have absent the expiration as traders either hedge or close out their options positions and/or bulk up/lighten their stock exposures to cause/prevent options exercises. Most investors benefit from this as it reduces volatility on option expiration day.

So in this case, the stock trading around $500 meant that, absent news, it was likely to stay closer to the $500 exercise price than to the next exercise prices of $505 or $495, even if those stocks in the same sector with relatively small options exposure moved up or down. Do that lots of times and you'll hit the price on the nose slightly more often than chance.
 
2013-01-19 02:43:26 PM
I have no problem with the stock market as an idea. That said, all exchanges of stock should be made with actual pieces of paper, signatures from both sides of the exchange on each piece, with the price being what the market has it at at the time the exchange is conducted. Both parties must also down a shot of gin for every 100 (or portion thereof, if less than 100) shares changing hands after the first 100, if more than 100 shares are being traded.
 
2013-01-19 02:44:31 PM

Manfred J. Hattan: Finishing right on the nose is actually pretty rare


m.niusnews.com
 
2013-01-19 02:50:57 PM

LordOfThePings: Manfred J. Hattan: Finishing right on the nose is actually pretty rare

[m.niusnews.com image 473x308]


ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-01-19 02:56:19 PM

Manfred J. Hattan: [ecx.images-amazon.com image 300x300]


Indeed.
 
2013-01-19 03:41:27 PM
@grinding_journalist.

praise be.

the problem in my eyes, is that the system is set to catch the rebellious in linguistic/cognitive traps through offers to end injustice, but in reality the means undertaken only perpetuate them.

i don't want to site specific examples because then I'm just a racist, sexist, classist crazy person.

the funny thing is that in my real life I'm actually quite nice, to a fault, that's fading of course as time drags on.
 
2013-01-19 04:13:36 PM

knowless: the problem in my eyes, is that the system is set to catch the rebellious in linguistic/cognitive traps through offers to end injustice, but in reality the means undertaken only perpetuate them.


It's almost like there exists just enough freedom for people to not fear saying things that could be construed as treasonous or anarchist, but enough control exerted over the populace through intimidation and economics that nobody will actually do anything about it, especially considering that the IT infrastructure exists to make it as easy as possible for signals and intelligence services to pinpoint exactly who said what when and where with a few keystrokes. I've often wondered if there are words, phrases, and ideas I could express that would make the intelligence community pay enough attention to me (and still realize I'm a rational human being) to think I'm worth hiring. If you can't beat them, join them indeed.

Unfortunately, through opinions expressed through the media to give them the appearance of widespread consensus, anyone who raises legitimate concerns about these issues is immediately hooted down as a pinko commie liberal anarchist crazy. You can't mention widespread regime change without someone saying SO YOU WANT TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT?

Sometimes I vainly hope that Futurama-esque cloning technology comes into existence to resurrect the founding fathers, just to hear them say "What the fark did you do to our country?"
 
2013-01-19 04:22:26 PM

GreenAdder: I keep clicking this link because it's just such an abysmal experience.

I can tell there was a lot of talent behind this, and they really wanted to go for a "slick" interface. But sometimes simpler is better.


KISS is not in the programmer's vocabulary for this one.
 
2013-01-19 04:29:44 PM

Manfred J. Hattan: Finishing right on the nose is actually pretty rare


Yeah? I could post some NSFW pics that prove you wrong.
 
2013-01-19 04:32:59 PM

nemisonic: A fix is on.


No, you're just a terrible investor.
 
2013-01-19 06:11:53 PM

Ed Finnerty: That website needs more frames.


They just like to party like it's 1999.
 
2013-01-19 06:41:05 PM
Weird. I bought AAPL at a $500 limit order.
 
2013-01-19 06:43:47 PM
Heh. My financial advisor/broker explained options hedging on trades to me when I was a freshman in college. I've been using it ever since. It's a great way to reduce your cost basis when buying securities and thus limit your downside exposure.
 
2013-01-19 06:47:03 PM
What, exactly, is stopping all you wieners from putting your chips on the table and trading with the big boys other than the substantial risks involved? Instead of wasting your money on worthless consumer goods and shoddy disposable lifestyle accouterments you could be living spartan and investing in where you want the world to go directly.
 
2013-01-19 07:29:02 PM
The odds of a stock closing at a nice round number aren't as high as you think. One, even by chance, this would happen and happen frequently. Do the math and you will find that even if you are dividing numbers into 100 parts, there is a 1 in 100 shot, not terribly long odds.

Two, if, like traditional stock prices, your numbers are divided into eighths, you have a 1 in 8 chance, even less of a long shot. Even if you can bid anything, a bid in eighths might appeal to your sense of tradition.

But in the stock market, it is human beings who are making up the numbers when they buy and sell. Humans like round numbers and do not select numbers randomly. They will set a maximum price they will buy at and a minumum prince they will sell at. They think "round numbers" mean something, which explains their odd celebration of odometers and calendars rolling over.

In short, there is human psychology built into the randomness of the market and human psychology would sooner close at $500.00 than at $513.125. You do not need a grand conspiracy to produce this result.

In any case, if the last deal of the day is a large one, done by a big buyer or seller, you are more likely to get $500 than any other number in the vicinity because the round number acts as an attractor and pulls bids up and down towards itself so things come out "right" to a human mind. They're not sending magic signals or coded messages. They're making sales. A small difference in a price might be a lot of money, which they wouldn't rationally and consciously give away. But they might do it unconsciously or irrationally, because there's a round number calling to them.
 
2013-01-19 07:39:07 PM
If  I read the article right, there were so many options investors betting that Apple would go up and so many betting that Apple would go down (making a profit for short-sellers and those with options in the right price range) that they drove the price to the middle of their tug of war, meaning no profits at closing for either side. Next Monday, trading resumes and we will find out who won as the price goes up or down more freely than it would with both sides still tugging in opposite directions. To the winners will go the spoils.

In other words, ho hem, the market works. There is a lot of shenanigans in the market (pump and dump operations, for example) but this is actually an instance of the market being liquid enough that it works like a free market is supposed to work, driving down marginal profits. No conspiracy. Nothing to see here people. Come back on Monday for more fun.
 
2013-01-19 08:12:44 PM

douchebag/hater: Subby?

Do you mean that we AND Apple are all pawns of the 1%

Or that we are all pawns of the 1% and the 1% includes Apple?


The stock market is a wealth redistribution tool that primarily benefits the 1%. The middle class put a little bit of each of their paychecks into a "retirement" scheme, and then the 1% manipulate the market to funnel it into their pockets. It's pretty simple.

/Yea, I got it all figured out.
 
2013-01-19 08:28:53 PM
 
2013-01-19 08:35:50 PM

grinding_journalist: Stories like this make me strongly consider becoming a terrorist, and attacking Wall Street.

Planned well, and with a clearly stated "fark these guys and the stolen money they rode in on" message, I'd expect a spat of "I'm ok with this" reaction as the story hit the media.


What exactly is the problem? It's a bunch of traders well ... trading. They're constructing positions using options and the underlying stock, and the action tends make the stock price gravitate to one of the option strike prices. I've hedged stock positions using options many times, and I'm not part of any grand cabal out to screw the world. Once the option expiration date is past, the stock will move off the strike price according to natural market forces.
 
2013-01-19 09:41:59 PM

Vegan Meat Popsicle: The odds of the stock closing at exactly $500 are not significantly different than the odds of it closing at any other price around $500.

If you think that the stock closing at a nice, round number holds any significance you're a complete moron.


Uh, if you don't believe the stock market is a fair game then you likely buy into that Fox News is also fair and balanced. It's a man made pile of scam, and always has been.
 
2013-01-19 09:45:05 PM

MayoSlather: Vegan Meat Popsicle: The odds of the stock closing at exactly $500 are not significantly different than the odds of it closing at any other price around $500.

If you think that the stock closing at a nice, round number holds any significance you're a complete moron.

Uh, if you don't believe the stock market is a fair game then you likely buy into that Fox News is also fair and balanced. It's a man made pile of scam, and always has been.


I didn't word that right, beer is a helluva beverage.
 
2013-01-19 11:04:22 PM

jjorsett: I've hedged stock positions using options many times, and I'm not part of any grand cabal out to screw the world.


Right, and that's because your investments, on a relative scale, make as much difference as spitting on the ground during a downpour. The difference between you investing a few thousand (or even hundred thousand) dollars and a big bank doing it to the extent that their buys heavily influence the market should be obvious.

My issue is that once those assets get pooled by a few companies (you know, those huge banks that were too big to fail?) and a very few people are put in charge of that money, it becomes very easy to manipulate markets on a very large scale- the people in charge get very very wealthy, and it doesn't make a bit of difference to them that they might be wrecking a national (and global) economy while doing it. They's is gettin' paid.

See also: intentionally selling loans and debt with fictitious value, skimming a few hundred million dollars, and jumping ship with the only life vest while you watch the Titanic that is the American economy slip into the cold, inky abyss.
 
2013-01-19 11:11:19 PM

t3knomanser: One more tip? When I hit the spacebar, I expect the page to scroll. This is basic functionality.


Holy crap I never knew it did that.

I've used a scroll wheel on my mouse for the past decade, so I just never knew...
 
2013-01-20 12:00:27 AM
Coincidences can be fun, like that day when Apple announced they were switching to Intel processors and the stock closed at 80.86. It's.... uh, good luck?
 
2013-01-20 04:22:29 AM
Dammit what I need to know if AAPL is going to go to 750 or 250.

/couldn't read TFA either
//will try later on a diff box
 
2013-01-20 02:08:23 PM

MayoSlather: Uh, if you don't believe the stock market is a fair game then you likely buy into that Fox News is also fair and balanced. It's a man made pile of scam, and always has been.


The fact that you choose not to know anything about investing doesn't make it a scam.
 
2013-01-20 04:25:25 PM

Vegan Meat Popsicle: MayoSlather: Uh, if you don't believe the stock market is a fair game then you likely buy into that Fox News is also fair and balanced. It's a man made pile of scam, and always has been.

The fact that you choose not to know anything about investing doesn't make it a scam.


Jesus tap dancing christ. It's farking blatantly corrupt at several different levels. Keep farkin that chicken.
 
2013-01-20 04:29:59 PM

MayoSlather: Jesus tap dancing christ. It's farking blatantly corrupt at several different levels. Keep farkin that chicken.


Uh huh.

Enjoy watching your money erode because you're too afraid to pick up a simple book about making simple investments.
 
2013-01-20 07:09:46 PM

Vegan Meat Popsicle: MayoSlather: Jesus tap dancing christ. It's farking blatantly corrupt at several different levels. Keep farkin that chicken.

Uh huh.

Enjoy watching your money erode because you're too afraid to pick up a simple book about making simple investments.


What kind of red herring/straw man ridiculousness is this shiat? Has nothing to do with the argument at hand. Here let me try...I hope you enjoy getting diarrhea because you're guaranteed to have the shiats after eating Indian food. Look I just made as relevant of a point as you did.

Financial markets/interest rates are continually manipulated. Regulations are overly complex on purpose and many are damn near unenforceable. Libor rates, the fed, speculators, high-frequency trading...all a flaming pile of corrupt.
 
2013-01-20 07:18:42 PM

MayoSlather: Financial markets/interest rates are continually manipulated. Regulations are overly complex on purpose and many are damn near unenforceable. Libor rates, the fed, speculators, high-frequency trading...all a flaming pile of corrupt.


So your argument is that because there is some manipulation some of the time that means the entire market is manipulated all of the time?
 
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