Apple investors can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The past month was Apple’s worst in the stock market since February 2020, and the toughest month of September since the 2008 Great Recession: -10%.

As the graph below illustrates, Apple stock fell off a cliff in the first part of the month, finally recovering only in the last five trading days. Compared to the rest of the FAAMG group, Apple underperformed in September by more than 1 percentage point. Against the S&P 500, Apple shares lagged by even more: 6.5 percentage points.

Valuation-driven correction

From a business fundamentals perspective, there wasn’t much about the month of September that could fully explain the drastic swing in Apple share price. In my view, the 22% top-to-bottom decline can be almost completely justified by a correction in valuations that had skyrocketed in August.

On the bearish side, in addition to the valuation pullback, Apple’s product refresh event did not include the highly anticipated release of the iPhone 12. The legal battle with Epic Game probably did not help either, although this drama is still likely to last for another year or more.

On the bullish side, rumors surfaced that Apple would be ready to unveil its 5G smartphone as early as the first half of October. Otherwise, not much more offered support to the shares, aside from the late month valuation rebound – a common feature of corrections.

Apple’s performance chart

Below is a chart that compares the performance of Apple stock against the S&P 500 and the industry. Apple’s dashboard looks good across the board, except for the past month (one-month return below is slightly overstated by the gains of August 31). Interestingly, shares dropped below the 50-day moving average for a moment, but quickly bounced back from those levels.

Explore more data and graphs

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(Disclaimers: the author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting The Apple Maven)