Apple Shares Plunge Thursday Afternoon Without Explanation

3:53 PM PST 02/10/2011 by Kimberly Nordyke

Observers are trying to figure out why the stock, which had been close to an all-time high, unexpectedly dropped by $6 in the span of four minutes.

Apple's stock price unexpectedly took a big drop Thursday afternoon, leaving observers trying to come up with a possible explanation.

The stock had been close to an all-time high of $360 a share before started to drop around 1 p.m. ET. But about 40 minutes later, the price fell by $6 -- from $355 to $349 -- in the span of just four minutes, according to Fortune magazine.

Overall, Apple saw its market capitalization decrease by $10 billion before its stock recovered.
Fortune speculated that the "surprisingly short" lines from consumers wanting to purchase iPhones at Verizon stores may have had something to do with it but likely wouldn't have caused such a dramatic drop.

"The selling is not normal just for negative news," Bullish Cross' Andy Zaky wrote in an e-mail to Fortune, adding that "there's something else. The selling was not normal. That's for sure. It wasn't orderly."

Meanwhile, Stock Tick Tock says the drop could have been attributed to rumors that Apple chief Steve Jobs is back in the hospital, but noted that "as far as we know, [the rumor] is incredibly false, but we are sure somebody made money off of this. ... This looks like it has been one big rumor, and somebody is bound to get sued."

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