Apple Stock Plummets as S&P 500 Hits 1,500

Pace of Apple’s sales slows, causing major sell-off

Apple employees celebrating the launch of the iPad. (Photo: AP) Apple employees celebrating the launch of the iPad. (Photo: AP)

Apple Inc. (AAPL) saw its share price decrease sharply on Thursday, even as the S&P 500 hit 1,500. The tech giant, which is a major component of the broad market index, experienced a 10% drop on investor skepticism over its prospects for growth despite its record earnings.

The Dow and S&P 500 hit 5-year highs on Thursday following mostly upbeat corporate results and economic data, but the NASDAQ lagged as shares of Apple plunged.

The company reported after markets closed on Wednesday that it sold 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, compared with 37 million in the same quarter a year ago. Although a year-over-year increase, the pace of sales slowed. Many analysts had hoped 50 million iPhones would be sold for the period.

"No technology company has ever reported these kinds of results," Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday.

As CNN Money notes, it was almost exactly one year ago that Apple nudged out Exxon Mobil to become the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. While it still holds the top spot, Apple's recent sell-off is narrowing the gap. Exxon's valuation is now just $14 billion below Apple's.

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