Apple’s crunch: Was there a leak?

April 6, 2011, 11:53 AM UTC

There’s something fishy about the trading two days before NASDAQ released the news

Click to enlarge. Source: Yahoo Finance

The gap in the blue line on April 5 in the chart at right reflects the $4.2 (1.2%) traders knocked off Apple’s share price at the opening bell Tuesday — the first opportunity money managers had to rebalance their portfolios after NASDAQ announced in the middle of the night that it was reducing Apple’s weight in the closely followed NASDAQ-100.

This was to be expected.

What was not expected was the $6.55 (1.9%) hit Apple’s shares took on April 1 — most of it after 2 p.m. — followed by another $3.37 (1%) loss on Monday, a day when the Dow was up and a couple analysts raised their Apple target prices.

Among those who smelled something fishy in Friday’s trading is Minyanville Media CEO Todd Harrison, who posted this red flag for the SEC on Tuesday:

“Doesn’t it feel as if someone got the call regarding the Apple (AAPL) re-weighting at 2PM on Friday afternoon, when the stock was trading at $348 and change? That would explain the twelve-handle dip into the news… as well as the lack of reaction today on the news.”

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]