FORTUNE -- Although it was never in quite the same boat as The Motley Fool, Insider Monkey or ValueWalk, there's been a predictable cast to the Apple (AAPL) coverage on the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch site these last few months. Typical headlines:
And that's just from the past two weeks.
But there was something different about Dan Gallagher's Before the Bell column Tuesday morning that ran under the headline Apple shares juiced with 'massive' buyback. It's as if someone at the Journal looked at Apple's stock chart and decided it might be time to turn the ship around.
Gallagher's piece is chock-a-block with the metaphors of change. Investors are warming. The tide has turned. And, from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, speaking of Apple's $60 billion stock buyback:
"I think that's getting investors to realize that it's no longer trying to catch a falling knife."
Language like this matters more than you might think. Headlines from the likes of Insider Monkey and The Motley Fool dominate the news feeds on business-oriented sites like Google Finance and Benzinga -- news feeds that are read not just by retail investors but by high-frequency trading computers trained to sniff the wind for changes in market sentiment.
MarketWatch even offers readers a chart that's color-coded like a litmus test:
For a backgrounder on artificial intelligence, market algorithms and high-frequency trading, I recommend Scott Patterson's Dark Pools: High-Speed Traders, A.I. Bandits, and the Threat to the Global Financial System.
A snapshot of high-frequency trading algorithms in action on Friday
FORTUNE -- What happened to Apple (AAPL) in the last minute of trading Friday?
Tyler Durden, who tweets as @zerohedge, offers the Nanex chart above as evidence that it was a premeditated flash dump executed by one or more high-frequency trading algorithms. How else could 800,000 shares worth nearly $300 million be sold in 17-second intervals?
If retail investors are moving back into mutual MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 27, 2013 11:24 AM ET
Behind the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010
FORTUNE -- "The last time I traded, I bought Apple in 2001."
That's what market data analyst Eric Scott Hunsader tells the Dutch TV producers of Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box -- a 2011 exploration of the market breakdown that caused the 2010 Flash Crash -- now available for free on You Tube and, with extras, as a $0.99 iPad app.
Two other experts interviewed -- a fund MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 9, 2012 5:03 PM ET
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