A oft-mentioned paradox in the markets the last few days has been the seeming strength in broad equity indices, even as the very core of most managers' holdings - AAPL - goes entirely pear-shaped. We suspect this chart will go a long way to solving the paradox. It appears a major aspect of the S&P 500 strength is unwinds of AAPL longs hedged against market shorts (as managers attempted to segregate AAPL's strength - trying to transform high beta in their alpha). AAPL's weight in the index and in manager's portfolios certainly provides enough ammunition for algos to see momentum and extend any real-money forced 'buying' in the index from this effect - and so we levitate. How much further can it go? It is unclear for sure; but the divergence will become more and more painful for those that have yet to unwind...
and in the short-term, its is absolutely clear that institutional sellers are active - once again, look at today's perfect short-term top at Friday's closing VWAP (red arrow) - often used as an anchor for market-making algos to judge performance of institutional block orders.