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It's Tuesday, so naturally Apple shares are plunging

Apple stock has been on a tear, but after it touches a new all-time high, investors bail -- for now.

When it comes to long, strange trips, trust the signature line from the pen of the late, great Jerry Garcia to explain the volatility in Apple's stock price these last few months.

Shares of Apple touched $674.88 earlier this morning (the company became the most valuable ever yesterday, when it reached more than $622 billion in market capitalization). But they reversed course and by early afternoon the stock was way down. How to explain the about-face? Take your pick: Profit taking most likely, though with the jury about to deliberate the Apple-Samsung patent litigation lawsuit some investors might also be taking their chips off the table in advance of a decision.

Hardly the end of the world for Apple. The company's market capitalization remains well above $600 billion and almost two-and-a-half times that of Microsoft or nearly triple the market cap for Google. There's growing anticipation of a refreshed product line come the fall -- iPhone 5, anyone? -- as well as the incessant rumors about whatever it is Apple plans to do in the television realm. So it is that Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White recently issued a $1,111 price target on Apple. Oh, and as Forbes' Eric Savitz notes, that would bring with it a $1.04 trillion market cap.

Not today, sports fans. Then again, there's always tomorrow.