“Just as major stock indexes are peaking, Apple (AAPL) is already in a bear market,” Ron DeLegge writes for ETFguide. “After hitting its $705 peak in the fall of 2012, Apple hit a fresh 52-week low today. The stock has now fallen 38% from its peak (20% price decline from high is generally accepted definition of ‘bear market’) to the $434 range.”

“Meanwhile, the herd mentality of piling into what everyone else is piling into (as they did with Apple) is causing a lot of pain,” DeLegge writes. “‘Common sense and careful logic show that it is impossible to produce superior investment performance if you buy the same assets at the same time as others are buying,’ said the great Sir John Templeton. Too bad nobody was listening.”

DeLegge writes, “Investors who got caught up in the emotion and bought at the wrong price, are getting creamed… Apple’s vicious decline is a precursor of what’s ahead for the rest of the stock market. Watch out when a leading stock turns into a laggard in such a short period of time. In case nobody bothered to tell you, stocks always fall faster than they rise.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If this continues, Tim Cook will quickly go from worrying that his seat is getting quite hot to how to keep his head off a stick.

When Tim Cook became Apple CEO on August 24, 2011, AAPL hit a day high of $378.96. AAPL currently stands at $430.53. That’s a gain of $51.57 or 13.6%. If this thing dips below $400…

Steve Jobs had no leash; Tim Cook’s, while long, grows shorter as shareholders watch the red ink flow. (We get email: a growing number of AAPL shareholders are not happy.)

Apple shareholders should be patient. This swoon is not based on Apple’s fundamentals or performance (save for Cook & Co.’s total mishandling of the new iMac launch, causing Apple to largely miss the entire Christmas sales season and which, it bears mentioning, would have turned last quarter’s “miss” into a “beat,” hence AAPL would likely be closer to knocking on $800 than $400 today. It would have been nice for someone to ask Tim about that little fsck up during the recent shareholders’ meeting. We would’ve liked to hear his answer). That parenthetical item aside, Cook surely has a plan and has already run Apple for years, including for much of the time Steve was sick. No need to even begin thinking of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, yet.

So, patience, patience… but regardless: Cook & Co. need to up their game, not only PR-wise (staunching misguided speculation, blunting rampant fomenting, answering critics, producing better marketing, etc.), but in terms of releasing some meaningful products in a much more timely fashion. The quicker, the better.

Here’s to looking back on all this ASAP as a momentary (albeit nearly half a year now) blip from which many ultimately profited and not the precursor to a stock market crash.

Related articles:
The last 6 times Tim Cook has talked, Apple’s stock has dropped – March 1, 2013
Apple shares hit new 52-week low – March 1, 2013
Apple’s ‘disappointing’ quarter the most profitable quarter for a tech company in history – February 7, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘No technology company has ever reported these kinds of results’ – January 24, 2013
Apple’s all-time record quarterly earnings disappoint – January 23, 2013
After posting new all-time record revenue, Apple shares collapse in after-hours trading – January 23, 2013
Apple reports record results: $54.5 billion revenue, $13.1 billion profit, $13.81 EPS – January 23, 2013