Are Markets Breaking Up With Apple?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) fall since reaching record-high prices in mid-September has made it see stars. After all, a 34.92-percent drop can’t be easy on a stock that had become used to staying in the green for most parts of the first nine months of 2012. In the exact same period that Apple has dropped the 35 percent in value, the broader markets have done just fine. The Dow Jones Industrial average has gained 2.54 percent, while the S&P 500 is up 2.92 percent since September 19, when Apple closed at a record $702.10.

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In 2013 alone, Apple’s stock has dumped more than 14 percent of its value. Meanwhile, the S&P has gained 5.3 percent, the Dow Jones is up 6.15 percent, and the Nasdaq has risen 4.07 percent. Last week, the S&P closed above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007 and the Dow ended fewer than 30 points from breaking 14,000. There was a time when Apple, recently lost and regained its title as the most valuable U.S. company, shaped the mood of the market. So what is going on?

“The conventional wisdom on Apple has to some degree been proved wrong,” Standard & Poor’s Howard Silverblatt told Bloomberg. “They did well when the rest of technology did not. Now it’s the other way around.”

With the aura of invincibility fading, it looks like investors are finding other reasons to cheer the markets to positions of strength.

“Much too much was always made about the overall impact of Apple,” Wells Capital Management’s James Paulsen told Bloomberg. “This rally is based more on the strength of the overall consumer, a revival in U.S. manufacturing, an improved housing market and corporate credit, and a reviving China than it has ever been about Apple.”

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