Apple went from its 8th highest close to its 19th in one day

December 29, 2011, 1:24 PM UTC

Even for a stock as volatile as Apple, Wednesday was a weird one

According to Terry Gregory, who keeps track of such things at, Apple (AAPL) was set to register its 8th highest close of all time — $408.25 — Wednesday before the selling started. By 4 p.m., it had fallen to $402.64 a share, its 19th highest close.

Gregory’s one-word comment on Investor Village’s AAPL Sanity board: “Ugh.”

Subscribers to the theory of maximum pain — which holds that stocks whose options are traded on a weekly basis tend to close each Friday at a price that rewards institutions selling puts and calls and penalizes investors buying them — will note that in Wednesday’s action, Apple’s share price fell $5.61 closer to max pain, which currently stands at $400.

Given that there are 929.41 million shares of Apple out there, that $5.61 drop shaved more than $5.2 billion off the company’s market cap.