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Friday’s 1.52 point drop was its first loss since April 8

Apple (AAPL) had a down day on Wall Street Friday, an occurrence that has become so rare lately investors don’t quite know what to make of it.

The stock closed at $247.40, down .61% on a day in which the Dow dropped 1.13%.

Apple’s share price had been on a tear since late January, when stock took a hit — closing at 192.06 — two days after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad.

Since then Apple has closed at an all-time high 20 times, starting at $218.95 (on March 5) and ending at 248.92 (on Thursday).

The company is scheduled to report quarterly earnings Tuesday April 20 after the markets close, and although the results are expected to be strong — if not record-breaking — there’s no telling which way Apple’s shares might move in after-hours trading.

Tune in here Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. EDT for our analysis of the results.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]