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Apple stock dips below $400 before rebound

Shares ever so briefly slip down past the $400 mark Wednesday as some investors fret over signs of potential weakness for the iPhone maker.


Apple's shares finally sagged below the $400 point.

Just before 10 a.m. PT today, the stock dipped below that round number, if only momentarily, crossing a threshold that seemed unlikely when it was high and mighty at more than $700 a share last September. That registered as the day's low of at $398.11, though the stock quickly rebounded to around the $403 mark.

Apple's shares closed the day at $402.80, a drop of 5.5 percent from the previous day's close.

Some Wall Street analysts put the blame on a disappointing quarterly forecast late yesterday from Cirrus Logic, which supplies analog and audio chips to Apple, reading into that a sign of diminished consumer interest in Apple's iPhone.

The drop below $400 is mostly a psychological barrier. But it represents the stock's continued descent after rewarding investors with ongoing gains last year.

The intervening months haven't been kind to Apple as a company or as a stock. The shares began their downward spiral late last year as mutual and hedge fund managers started to sell off some of their holdings. But the stock was especially hammered after Apple announced its fiscal first-quarter results in January.

Apple actually reported record revenues. But earnings fell short of expectations, prompting investors to start bailing. A report claiming that Apple had cut its component orders for the iPhone pushed the stock down even further, and many analysts and investors fretted that the company had lost its magic touch.

Some analysts argued that the fears were overblown and that investors were overreacting.

"We believe this news is not new, as we first discussed potential supply chain component cuts in our report on December 19," JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said in a note on January 14. "We believe the news is more noise, and we believe the stock reaction has been overdone."

As a company, Apple has also been hit by complaints that it's sitting on a huge treasure chest of cash, refusing to share more of it with investors. The stock's performance has also been hurt by the lack of any exciting product announcements coming from Apple since last fall.

Apple will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings next week, on April 23.

Update 1:17 a.m. PT: Added Apple's closing price for the day.