What’s eating Apple?

Its trading volume has been decreasing exponentially for the past 10 years.

If the trend continues, says friend-of-the-blog Roger van Boeyen (who supplied the charts), Apple’s trading volume will halve again in the next five years.

trading volume

Could the fall-off be an artifact of Apple aggressive share buyback program, which retired nearly 1.7 billion shares in the space of five years? Not likely, says van Boeyen. The timing is wrong. Besides, Google’s trading volumes are down just as sharply.

trading volume apple google

My take: As the price curves go up, the volume curves go down.

trading volume share price


  1. Martin Beutling said:

    It seems that more and more investors are going long….

    June 8, 2018
  2. Fred Stein said:

    I’m with Joseph on this. In addition to Apple’s buy back of 1.7B, Warren Buffett effectively retired 240M shares. Combined that is about 28% since buybacks started. As well there Buffett followers and independent investors continue to hold Apple.

    All these “holders” will hold as long as the stock is so undervalued. It’s just math: Apple shares earn over 6% internally and growing (based on forward EPS).

    June 8, 2018
  3. Turley Muller said:

    Certainly the increase in price has largest effect. Stock price is up exponentially. Share volume is a function of share price. The unit of demand for stocks is dollar amounts. The unit of exchange is shares amounts. Trading volume expressed in share amounts isn’t meaningful for comparisons over long time periods when there has been such huge increase in share price. It’s like analyzing a store’s sales by volume (number not value) of currency bills in the register over a period from when it only accepted 5 dollar bills to a period when it only accepted 100 dollar bills. Meaningless. Unless currency volume (units) is converted to currency value. Just like trading volume here should be expressed as share value (dollars) not share units.

    June 8, 2018
  4. Paul Chou said:

    I did some random spot check on CBOE’s historical option volume data and found:

    1) At least from 2012 on, Apple has almost ALWAYS been the option volume leader on a monthly basis (data goes back further than that; I just haven’t had the time to check them all).

    2) Option vol is definitely declining for Apple.

    So, it would seem to suggest this phenomenon is not confined to Apple only.

    June 9, 2018

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