Why was Apple’s Stock Down in an Up Market Friday?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock closed at $430.47 on Friday after shedding $10.93, or 2.48 percent, from its price at the opening bell as selling pressure continued to push the stock price down. Shortly before the closing bell however, Apple stock briefly dipped to $429.98, a low it hasn’t reached since January 2012.

On January 24, 2012, Apple stock closed at $420.41 in anticipation of the 2012 fiscal first quarter earnings release, but gained $37.50 in after hours trading when positive iPhone sales figures were reported.

This time there doesn’t appear to be a single driving factor for investor malaise towards Apple stock, although analysts could point to several recent events.

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Kulbinder Garcha, Managing Director at Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), lowered his 2013 and 2014 earnings estimates for Apple this past week, citing pressure from Apple’s rival smartphone-maker Samsung (005930.KS). Garcha specifically expressed concern that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S IV may take market share from the iPhone 5. He also noted that over 60 percent of the high-end smartphones unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress have larger screen-estate than the iPhone 5, potentially leaving the iPhone 5 with a hardware disadvantage.

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