By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
April 18, 2011

As of Monday morning the stock was officially down for 2011

Explain this, if you would.

Two days before Apple AAPL was expected to report record earnings — with customers snapping up iPhones faster than it can make them and others still camping out overnight to buy the latest iPad — the world’s most valuable technology company on Monday was down more than $7 (2.2%) in early morning trading.

It would be one thing if the whole market had collapsed. But the Dow was still up nearly 5% for the year.

Meanwhile, Apple, a mega cap growing at a rate of 70% to 80% a year —  a company with enough cash on hand to ensure supplies even after a tsunami has wiped out its competitors’ –dipped briefly into negative territory for the year.

Go figure.

UPDATE: The stock recovered to close at 331.85, up $4.39 (1.3%) for the day and back in positive territory for the year.]

Also on Fortune.com:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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