Waiting for Tim Cook to increase Apple's dividend yield? Today the market did it for you.

By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
April 17, 2013

FORTUNE — There is no shortage of theories why Apple AAPL — already at a 453-day low Tuesday — fell another $28.13 in mid-day trading Wednesday to touch $398.11, wiping out all of 2012’s gains.

Among the reasons we’ve heard:

  • Notes from Goldman Sachs and Lazard Capital predicting “below consensus guidance” for the June quarter next week when Apple reports its March quarter earning.
  • A warning by Cirrus Logic CRUS , which makes chips for Apple, that its gross margins would go down due to a “decreased forecast for a high volume product.”
  • A report by Jefferies’ Peter Misek suggesting that all three of Apple’s anticipated new iPhones — the iPhone 5S, the low-cost iPhone and the iPhone 6 — would be delayed.
  • A rush by investors to get out the door in case Apple delivers earnings next Tuesday that are even lower than Wall Street’s lowered expectations.

Apple’s market value has now dropped $288 billion since last September, which is greater than the gross national product of all but 34 countries.

There is, however, an upside to a down day like this, if you care to see it that way.

Investors who have been waiting for Tim Cook to raise Apple’s dividend can take ¬†comfort in the fact that the market has done it for them.¬†At $398.11 a share, Apple’s current dividend of $10.60 returns a yield of better than 2.66%.

Which these days, isn’t bad.

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