AAPL Drops 9.2%, Drags Markets to 2005 Lows

Worries about Apple Computeris ability to continue its growth spree pushed the stock to shed 9.21% of its value Thursday, one day after turning in record March quarterly results. Appleis decision not to provide guidance past the current quarter sent a chill through the broader markets, prompting investors to worry about other corporate earnings reports due in coming weeks. All three major indexes, the DOW, the NASDAQ, and the S&P 500, closed at 2005 lows.

Appleis stock was the most heavily traded stock on the market today, with previously unseen volume of more than 98 million shares trading hands. In recent months, a heavily trafficked AAPL would normally see 36-38 million shares trading hands.

The stock closed at US$37.26, down $3.78 (-9.21%).

Earlier in the day, American Technology Research analyst downgraded Appleis stock to a "Hold," citing concerns that investors may have had expectations that were too high.

"While AAPL upsided its EPS guidance by 14 cents and revenue by over $300 million," he wrote in a research note obtained by The Mac Observer, "we believe that investors are not satisfied with these results and may have baked future big upside expectations into AAPLis stock price."

The Dow Jones closed at 10,278.75, down 125,18; the S&P 500 closed at 1,162.04, down 11.76; the NASDAQ, where Appleis stock trades, closed at 1,946.71, off by 27.66.

Other factors having an effect on the broader markets include mounting economic worries. This week marked the beginning of a wave of corporate earnings reports, and investors are jittery in the face of what they might find out from those reports.

"People donit have enormous confidence in earnings growth," Jim Fehrenbach, head of Nasdaq trading at Piper Jaffray, told Reuters in an article about todayis slide. "There is no compelling reason to buy stocks right now on technical reasons from a macro-economic point of view. Youire safer not doing anything right now."

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in APPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.  

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