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Investors taking a bite out of Apple

Apple shares have hit the skids since hitting a record high two weeks ago, raising questions about the outlook for further growth ahead of the company's earnings Tuesday.

Shares of Apple were lately trading at $571.17, down 11.3 percent from the stock’s record high of $644, hit April 10. That decline comes after a surge over the last few months that drove the stock up more than 40 percent and made it the world’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of $600 billion.

Apple will report quarterly earnings after the close of trading Tuesday, and some investors were expected to take profits ahead of the announcement.

Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners, said Apple’s pull-back should be short-term.

“It’s premature to get too bearish on Apple,” he said, adding that he would need to see Apple’s share price fall to near $516, or down 20 percent from its record high, to begin to get worried.

“This stock has had an excellent run, and it doesn’t look like that is done,” he said. “Overall, the trends are still quite positive.”

Analysts describe the drop in price as a technical correction, which occurs after a series of prolonged price increases. The pullback can come when buyers slow their purchases, leading to a decline to a short-term support level.

Shares of Apple hit the $600 mark for the first time ahead of the mid-March release of the new iPad, having closed above $500 for the first time on Feb. 13. Just before Christmas, on Dec. 23, Apple closed above $400 for the first time.