Where's the old love, Apple?
Wall Street has turned viciously on its one-time iDarling. The rout in Apple's share price - it fell nearly 2.7% on Thursday, bringing the damage since late September to 44% - has many wondering when, and where, all of this will end.
The answer, of course, is that no one really knows. Yes, Apple is slowing, as companies inevitably do. But Apple remains enormously profitable and the envy of corporations worldwide.
Only seven months ago, Apple's share price raced above $700 to a record high, making Apple the most valuable company on the planet. By Thursday, the stock had sunk to $392.05, closing below $400 for the first time since late 2011.
The proximate cause of Thursday's decline was news this week of a glut of audio chips at one of Apple's suppliers. That, in turn, prompted concern that sales of iPhones might fall short of expectations.
On one level, the Apple story is a common one on Wall Street: what goes up also goes down. As Apple's stock price soared in recent years, some pointed out that the company's sales couldn't keep growing - and its share price couldn't keep rising - at that rapid pace forever. In hindsight, Apple's surge above $700 strikes some as irrational, as does its precipitous plunge back below $400.