Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple went from its 8th highest close to its 19th in one day

December 29, 2011: 8:24 AM ET

Even for a stock as volatile as Apple, Wednesday was a weird one

According to Terry Gregory, who keeps track of such things at AAPLInvestors.net, Apple (AAPL) was set to register its 8th highest close of all time -- $408.25 -- Wednesday before the selling started. By 4 p.m., it had fallen to $402.64 a share, its 19th highest close.

Gregory's one-word comment on Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board: "Ugh."

Subscribers to the theory of maximum pain -- which holds that stocks whose options are traded on a weekly basis tend to close each Friday at a price that rewards institutions selling puts and calls and penalizes investors buying them -- will note that in Wednesday's action, Apple's share price fell $5.61 closer to max pain, which currently stands at $400.

Given that there are 929.41 million shares of Apple out there, that $5.61 drop shaved more than $5.2 billion off the company's market cap.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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