As rumors of the imminent iPad3 (and FoxConn hacking) spread across the web and a general sense of cult-like euphoria washes away the reality of a considerably weaker earnings picture (and outlook) than even downgraded expectations had prepared for, we present two charts, via JPMorgan, of just how grossly distorted the picture of US economic health (implicitly via US corporate earnings) has become, thanks to Apple. While ignoring Apple as a provider of 'wealth' is akin to Monty Python's "What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?" comment, we worry that so much 'expectations' burden should fall on the shoulders of a company that relies on constant 'successful' innovation and constant low cost wages (no growth) to merely maintain current growth and earnings while facing constant and massive competitive threats from every side of its business (especially with austerity/recession/credit-constrained Europe as the largest sequential growth driver in the last surprising quarter). While 'Let Them Eat PSI' is the clear message for the Greeks, it would appear the US investor is truly satisfied by its extra large helping of iPad meals, even as 'explicit' job creation in the US via this main driver of US earnings remains de minimus (recognizing of course the peripheral impact of developers into this infrastructure that however do not amount to too much in terms of earnings as is painfully obvious from these charts). As goes AAPL, so goes the US?
Source: JP Morgan