Why Apple had to close at $500 on January 19

Joe Springer on Seeking Alpha proposed the following theory on why institutional money had a lot to gain by pushing Apple's stock price down to $500 by January 19, and a lot to lose if it had remained substantially higher.

So here is our logic to being patient. It is threefold:

  1. Apple had an enormous amount of call options speculation related to its Summer surge

  2. A huge share of this was calls with a strike of around the current price of $550 and higher that expire January 19 2013

  3. The institutional money managers that wrote those call options and bought common stock to cover will make a lot of money if a) those options expire worthless, and then b) Apple runs after that expiration date

It's an interesting theory that I don't know enough about, one way or another, to provide any commentary on. (We'll ask Chris Umiastowsky to weigh in when he can). Maybe Apple just sucks now and everyone who likes Apple products is panicking and ass covering, or maybe there's a concerted effort to make money at Apple's expense. Often the truth lies in between the extreme.

Any smart investor types out there have any light they can shine on this?

Source: Seeking Alpha via Daring Fireball, Loren Brichter