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Why Apple is hurting the Dow

Apple was only added to the Dow exactly three months ago — and the curse is already setting in. Shares of the popular gadget maker are down 1.3% since their addition to the Dow Jones industrial average on March 19, 2015. Followers of the so-called Dow Curse aren’t surprised. Traders and investors often remark that when a stock gets so big and so mainstream that it’s added to Dow, the days of the big gains are over. Once a stock is added to the Dow it’s totally discovered and owned, which is not exactly the recipe for big gains.Employees walk up a flight of stairs pri

And Apple certainly underscores the point — three months after being added. The stock’s huge run this year practically hit the brakes the day it was added to the ubiquitous market measure. Shares are down Friday by 76 cents, or 0.6%, to $127.07. Even more glaring is the fact Apple’s stock has flatlined — even as the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has lit it up and even notched a new all-time intraday high Thursday. While Apple’s stock has languished since being added to the Dow, the Nasdaq has jumped more than 3%.

Some might point out the Dow hasn’t done much over the past three months, either. That’s true. The Blue Chip benchmark is down 0.1% since Apple was added. But the Dow languishing is partly because of Apple. If AT&T was still in the Dow instead of Apple, the Dow would be trading for 18,080.36 instead of 18,059.63. In other words, the Dow would be 0.1% higher had the Dow stayed the way it was — without Apple. AT&T investors must chuckle when they see how their “sleepy” telecom stock is up 4.1% over the past three months, while the “hot” Apple stock is down 1.3%.

Some investors might think all this curse talk is just hogwash. And the bulls continue to think this stock has huge upside. And to be fair, investors’ lack of enthusiasm could be temporary. Maybe Apple’s watch is selling better than some expect – and could give a lift in the coming month. Maybe the massive slowdown in the company’s growth in the second half isn’t a big deal? If that’s the case, perhaps the stock’s sudden stall is temporary.