Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Jeremy Owens writes in the Mercury News that Apple stock took its biggest one-day slide in the four years since the Great Recession was in its heyday dropping 6.4 percent to lop off nearly $35 billion from its world-leading market capitalization but the most interesting aspect of Wednesday's dive is all the different theories analysts are providing for the sudden drop. Theory No 1 is that large tech companies such as Oracle and Cisco are handing out their dividends for next year early to avoid possible tax hikes on the cash as a result of the "fiscal cliff" changes that could take effect at the end of the year. Apple declined to do so, so investors may be taking their profits now to avoid larger tax bills in 2013. Theory No. 2 is that there are rumors out of Asia that Apple has cut back on its orders for components, suggesting that the company is slowing production in the first quarter of 2013, which could damage Apple's earnings for that quarter. Theory No. 3 is that Apple's growth is slowing, its product refresh isn't innovative, the competition is growing, Apple's latest product refresh is underwhelming, and there has been a drop in Apple's tablet market share. This theory has been growing for months, and can be summed up with the phrase "Steve Jobs isn't walking through that door." Any or all of those theories may have played into Wednesday's fall, or it could just be the vagaries of the marketplace, where Apple shot to the highest market cap on record earlier this year, then dove into "bear market" territory just months later. "Apple stock is significantly more volatile than its earnings and innovation stream," says analyst Daniel Ernst. "It makes no sense. There are lines around the block for their products all around the world. No other company has that.""
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