Tech Sector Stumbles, Drags AAPL Down With It

Shares in Apple dropped throughout Thursday's session as investors wiped away yesterday's gains in the tech sector. Apple, IBM, Microsoft, HP, and Intel all joined in the selling, shedding the Nasdaq's 33 point gain from Wednesday's session, dropping more than 36 points.

Concern about Citigroup ($1.02, a loss of $0.11 (-9.73%)) and GM ($1.82, down $0.38 (-17.27%)), two non-tech companies, helped set the selling mood on Wall Street. Both companies became the focus of renewed worries about their long term health.

While those two companies set the dour tone, the tech sector was knocked around, in part, after Shaw Wu suggested in a research note to clients that PC sales could be set for a pause as Windows users and companies await the release of Windows 7, which is currently expected later in 2009.

Marketwatch reported that he also noted that the release of Windows 7 could become a buying catalyst, but that either way, the computer industry was in for a hit this year.

Google was also sent into negative territory after an analyst cut the search leader's estimates for 2009 and 2010. Google is trading at $306.00, down $12.92 (-4.05%).

In the meanwhile, no news is not necessarily good news for Apple, as the company's stock dipped to $89.43, losing $1.74 (-1.91%), erasing most, but not all, of Wednesday gains. There were no analyst comments or other Apple-related news sparking the drop, and the company was merely caught up in the general tech sector malaise.

Indeed, the closest thing to Apple news that is likely to be of concern to investors was the news that the company is well ahead of all of its rivals in terms of inventory management, an issue that affects cash flow and profitability.

The Nasdaq is currently at 1,317.50, off by 36.24 (-2.68%), the S&P 500 is at 687.25, down 25.62 (-3.59%), and the Dow slipped to 6,645.26, down 230.58 (-3.35%).

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