Apple shares are falling, and this time it’s different

All stocks undergo corrections, but it’s highly unusual for Apple to be falling in a bull market

Apple shares have fallen amid slowing iPhone sales, antitrust issues and fears it has fallen behind in the AI (artificial intelligence) race.

Apple bulls argue the agonising is overdone and say corrections are perfectly normal, with the stock suffering numerous sell-offs over the past decade only to inevitably rebound and hit new highs.

Perhaps, but this time is different in one respect – Apple is falling while the broader market is rallying. For years, notes Bespoke Investment, commentators debated whether indices could rally without Apple, fretting that the S&P 500 might be dependent on a stock that accounted for almost 8 per cent of the index in mid-2023 – the biggest weighting of any stock in the index’s history.

That question has been answered. Over the past 200 trading days, the index is up 21 per cent but Apple is down over 6 per cent.

That huge performance gap is the widest since October 2013. Over the last 100 trading days, adds Bespoke, Apple is down slightly while the S&P 500 is up 24 per cent.

Since the iPod was first launched in late 2001, this is the first period where the index was up by more than 20 per cent over this time frame while Apple was down. Bespoke’s data shows that whenever the S&P rallies, Apple almost always rallies in sync with it. Not today. Yes, all stocks suffer corrections, but it’s not normal for Apple to fall in a bull market. This time really is different.

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