CUPERTINO (CBS / AP) — Apple’s stock fell Wednesday along with a sharp sell-off in the broader market as investors, with the election behind them, dumped stocks and turned their focus to a world of problems – tax increases and spending cuts that could stall the nation’s economic recovery and a deepening recession in Europe.
The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted as much as 369 points, or 2.8 percent, in the first two hours of trading. It recovered steadily in the afternoon, but slid into the close and ended down 313, or 2.4 percent, to 12,932.73 — its biggest point drop since this time last year.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 33.86 points, or 2.4 percent, to 1,394. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index lost 74.64 points, or 2.5 percent, to 2.937.29.
“It does look ugly,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC. He said it was hard to untangle the impact of Europe-related selling from nerves about the nation’s fiscal uncertainty.
“It’s a combination of all that, quite honestly,” Pavlik said.
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The stock of the world’s most valuable company, Apple Inc., has now fallen more than 20 percent from its all-time high of $705.07, hit on Sept. 21. That was the day the latest iPhone went on sale. Apple shares were down 22.20, or 3.8 percent, to $558.00 at the close of trading Wednesday.
The sell-off comes as Apple readies other new products for sale, including the iPad Mini. The Cupertino-based company warned late last month that the costs of making new gadgets would cut into profit in its holiday quarter.
Apple Inc. still has the world’s heftiest market capitalization at $548 billion. Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. is next, at nearly $418 billion.
“There’s been this whole litany of things that have been dragging down the market for a while, earnings chief among them, and that’s still out there,” said Tobias Levkovich, a financial analyst at Citi Research, adding that those concerns “play as much of a role as anything to do with the election.”
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