Apple has quietly dropped 22% from its peak, giving up $500 billion in market cap

Finance news

Well, that was fast.

It took just 12 trading sessions for Apple to plunge more than 20% from its all-time high, shedding more than half a trillion in market capitalization.

The tech giant has plunged 22.6% from its intraday record high of $137.98 from Sept. 2, losing around $532 billion in market value. Apple’s fast and furious decline followed its massive run-up in August ahead of its 4-for-1 stock split, while the steep losses also came as Apple’s recent product event — its first in 2020 — didn’t live up to the hype.

The Tim Cook-led giant on Tuesday announced a bunch of new hardware and some updated software, including the Apple Watch Series 6, the iPad Air, a fitness service and service bundles called Apple One.

However, Apple did not announce any new iPhones. Also, the biggest thing missing from Apple One’s bundle that would make it much more attractive: a hardware tie-in to the iPhone.

Toni Sacconaghi, senior research analyst at Bernstein, called the event “relatively underwhelming.”

“We believe it could be difficult to move users from competitive music, video or gaming services, where they are often entrenched,” Sacconaghi said in a note. “We continue to believe that Apple should look to more creatively bundle its hardware + services into integrated subscription bundles.”

Apple’s recent weakness also came amid a broad sell-off in the tech sector as investors rotated out of the market-leading high-flyers. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has plunged into correction territory, down more than 10% from its record high. Some investors believe the drop in the tech darlings comes from concerns over lofty valuations that have run up too far, too fast.

Before the recent sell-off, shares of Apple surged 21.4% in August alone as the announcement of the stock split sparked a knee-jerk rally. The move baffled many on Wall Street as such a corporate action does not have an impact on the company’s fundamentals or the intrinsic value of the existing ownership. 

Still, some analysts see Apple rebounding from here given its mega-cap position and history of quality products.

Loup Venture’s Gene Munster said the key takeaway from the Apple event is how the company is “masterfully upselling its consumers.”

“They can get away with it and the reason is that they have some of the world’s best products,” Munster said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Fast Money.” “They do have great products and consumers see the trade off, the price premium relative to value.”

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