“Mutual-fund investors aren’t supposed to have to pay attention to the fate of any particular stock. But like so many things with technology giant Apple Inc., the regular rules don’t seem to apply,” Ian Salisbury reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“While Apple’s stock has been hit hard in recent months — losing more than third of its value since September, including a 12% drop since missing earnings estimates on Wednesday — the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is still the most valuable name on the stock market,” Salisbury reports. “That distinction means it looms unusually large in millions of Americans’ investment portfolios, even if they’ve never glanced at one of its quarterly earnings reports. ‘We’ve never seen another company have as big an impact’ on overall market returns, says Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.”

Salisbury reports, “Just how popular has Apple become? It was among the top 10 holdings in more than 1,000 mutual funds last year, according to fund researcher Morningstar Inc. — up from just 11 in 2002, shortly after Apple introduced the device that started the gadget craze, the iPod. Overall, about one in four stock funds owns Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Jim Cramer: Arrogance of Apple’s management is what hurts AAPL shareholders the most – January 25, 2013
What’s really going on with Apple and its stock price in 2013? – January 24, 2013
With Apple’s huge cash pile at 30% of its market cap, it’s time to boost dividend, buybacks – January 24, 2013
Apple in danger of losing ‘Most Valuable Company In The World’ crown – January 24, 2013
What to do now if you own Apple stock – January 24, 2013
Topeka Capital cuts Apple price target to $888 from $1,111 – January 24, 2013
The Street beats Apple – January 24, 2013
Adam Lashinsky: What Apple’s earnings really mean, and what’s that $9 billion in ‘equipment’ for? – January 24, 2013
Apple’s results aren’t the total disaster implied by the market meltdown – January 24, 2013
Apple stock drops 12%, trips short-sale circuit breaker – January 24, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘No technology company has ever reported these kinds of results’ – January 24, 2013
Apple’s all-time record earnings drag down NASDAQ futures – January 24, 2013
Gundlach: Apple ‘a broken company’ – January 24, 2013
Apple’s all-time record quarterly earnings disappoint – January 23, 2013
Jim Cramer: ‘Without Steve Jobs, Apple is just another stock, it’s not magical anymore’ – January 23, 2013
After posting new all-time record revenue, Apple shares collapse in after-hours trading – January 23, 2013
MacDailyNews presents live notes from Apple’s Q113 Conference Call – January 23, 2013
Apple reports record results: $54.5 billion revenue, $13.1 billion profit, $13.81 EPS – January 23, 2013