The AAPL share price has fallen back to $430 (as of 16.17pm, UK time), but yesterday Apple's share price rocketed to a high of $439.01 in the day's trading, closing at $437.87 at the end of the day. It opened at $429.75 that morning, so that's a 1.889% increase in trading that day.
As Motley Fool put it: "Shortly after 2:30 the company rocketed from being down 0.8% to up 1.2% in mere minutes amid massive volume while the general market barely moved."
According to that report, at 2:47 pm more than $137 million worth of AAPL stock changed hands in one minute pushing the shares forward.
A number of reports today are speculating as to what caused the increase in value, although many of these were based on "random tweets", notes The Fool. Mind you we all saw what happened when an investor tweeted prior to Apple's Shareholder Meeting last month.
Apple could increase its dividend to $5 a share
Next week it will be exactly a year since Apple announced its plan to reinitiate its dividend while instituting a share repurchase program. Apple did so in a conference call called especially to discuss its bank balance. In that call Apple announced that it would pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share every quarter amounting to $10 billion over three years.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White thinks that this means that the time is ripe for Apple to announce "a bigger deployment of cash".
White estimates that Apple could boost its quarterly dividend payout up to between $3.75 and $5 per share. That would represent a dividend yield of approximately 3.5% to 4.6%. The increase could see Apple pay back $100 billion over five years, according the Motely Fool's report.
White is modeling for Apple's cash balance to grow to $241 billion by the end of fiscal 2015 - over $100 billion more than it currently has, according to the Motely Fool.
Apple is doing a special dividend rumour…
A rumour that Apple was readying a special, one-time $30 dividend was also doing the rounds.
A rumour yesterday afternoon that Apple is planning issue a 'special dividend' to shareholders may have caused some interest, especially from those calling for Apple to do something with its cash.
However, as Business Insider notes: "Of the three most sensible ways to return cash to shareholders, a 'special dividend' is the least flexible and least efficient".
Business Insider suggests that increasing the regular dividend or a stock buyback would be better options, with the stock buyback being the best because it means that Apple's shareholders aren't hit by dividend taxes (currently at 23.8% tax).
Apple will join the Nasdaq Tech Dividend Benchmark next week
A report by Barrons, notes that a week from today the technology-dividend index will include Apple and other tech shares.
The results of the evaluation of the NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index will become effective on 18 March 2013, according to this release.
Ditch Google, buy Apple
As Apple shares pulled back 40% from their high in September 2012, Google has been on the rise. Another Fool report suggests that "institutional trading has played a large role in this switcheroo", as several large hedge funds were busy frantically unloading their AAPL shares last quarter.
That site asks: "With Google flirting with all-time highs, much like Apple was in September, is the search giant due for an Apple-esque pullback?"
Oracle Investment Research chief market strategist Laurence Balter believes that this is exactly what will happen. He notes that all the conditions surrounding Google are eerily reminiscent of those for Apple six months ago, notes Fool.
Fortune reports that Balter said: "As we begin to hear the rumblings of $1,000 target prices and cheerleaders in pom-poms, we are raising the target price only slightly from $670 to $700 to reflect earnings per share growth, but we still think you are overpaying."
Claims that Google is on its way to $1,000, mirror those of analysts who were predicting the same for Apple last April.
Balter also notes that Google is now the 10th most expensive stock in the S&P 100, while Apple is the fifth cheapest. Some suggest that since it is trading in the single figure PE (9.79), Apple is a good buy for the patient investor.
It's got nothing to do with that…
An interesting observation from the Fool article: "You wouldn't believe it by the way it trades, but Apple actually closed today as the most valuable company in the world".
The site notes that Apple is trading like a penny stock, even though it's worth $400 billion.
That report suggests that there is no obvious reason for the change in the AAPL share price yesterday: "Apple moving down 6.4% on a day with little news, or moving dramatically upward today [Monday] with such little news that market commentators are pulling out tweets to explain its relevance, strikes me as more of a condemnation of markets that are informationally efficient and rational."
We at Macworld are certainly suspicions when such big changes to Apple's stock happen so fast, and if the Motely Fool report that claims that more than $137 million worth of AAPL stock changed hands in one minute is correct, we may be looking at activity by just one investor or hedge fund. After all, it was the mass AAPL sell off by four hedge funds that caused Apple stock price to plummet last year.