Apple’s market value slipped below $2 trillion for the first time in more than two years on Wednesday after sliding more than five percent in premarket trading as investors started to pull back on tech holdings.
The world’s most valuable publicly listed company also saw some of its crown taken from Microsoft by ExxonMobil, the oil giant that closed just above Apple’s market value.
Twitter was also hit, knocking 5.07 percent lower as investors speculated that Twitter will face pressure from regulators.
Twitter shares have now lost more than a third of their value in less than a month, now trading at just under $25 and well below their listing price of $26.
Apple’s fall came as Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook put a brave face on a tougher than expected first-quarter. “We are up against an incredibly tough year-over-year comparison in the June quarter, but we continue to make solid progress in the areas we can control,” he said on Wednesday, pointing to continued iPhone Xr upgrades and enterprise strength.
“We grew services revenue, and our installed base has grown in every quarter since we announced Services for the first time six years ago,” Cook said.
Wednesday’s decline leaves Apple’s market capitalization below $2 trillion, with ExxonMobil taking over the No. 2 spot behind only Microsoft.
On the US stock market, the S&P 500 was up 0.1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.2 percent at 24,710, the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.14 percent at 7,452.
Microsoft was up 0.2 percent at $109.49. Apple’s slippage also sent some of its top suppliers and resellers lower. Key features in Apple’s latest iPhones from last year’s launch include a bigger screen and Face ID, Apple’s multi-sensor facial recognition system for unlocking the phone.
Those features have been eclipsed by rival technologies that work over facial recognition, as well as other features added by other rivals.
“Apple faces huge challenges from Samsung, Google, Huawei, and also from self-driving cars,” said CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood.
“These are not typical growth areas for Apple and they won’t share a mass market. That gives key opportunity to the likes of Motorola, LG, Xiaomi, and Honor, which are focusing on affordable, selfie-centric devices,” he said.
The Technology sector of the S&P 500 has shed nearly 13 percent since the start of April.