In late September, Apple shares cracked $700 for the first time, making the world's most valuable company worth more than $650 billion.
A lot can change in a month, however. Today, after the New York Stock Exchange reopened trading following superstorm Sandy on the East Coast of America, Apple dropped 2%. The drop was enough to bring shares below $600 for the first time since July.
The company has now lost $100 billion in value in only one month, despite a burst of product upgrades in a short time: a new iPhone, a new iPad, an iPad Mini, new iPods, new MacBook Pros, and new iMacs.
Why has Apple taken this huge hit? Well, while its latest quarterly earnings report was strong overall, there were some concerns—namely weaker than expected iPad sales and an oddly disappointing forecast for next quarter's profits. The iPad Mini also disappointed many, with outdated specs and a price tag above what most anticipated.
And most recently, Apple made major changes to its top executive team, saying good bye to Scott Forstall and adding new responsibilies to the roles of Jony Ive and others. It wasn't something analysts saw coming.
Of course, there's no reason for investors to worry. Apple is still a very stable an incredibly profitable company with a diversified product portfolio and a proven formula for success. But when you're the world's most valuable company, you're under a very stringent microscope, through which even minor blips can be perceived as disasters.