Were These Investors Apple’s Weak Link?

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The mutual fund industry may have contributed in large part to the recent sell-off in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), according to a report by Barron’s. Led by the $113 billion Growth Fund of America, several funds drastically cut down their stake in the iPhone maker between August and December last year. Apple touched a record closing high of $702.10 in mid-September, but has fallen more than 35 percent since.

The Growth Fund of America, the third-largest fund in the country, got rid of almost $3 billion worth of Apple stock during the fourth quarter. While Apple had been its top-weighted stock at 4.2 percent from seven million shares worth $4.8 billion on August 31, the company fell to under 1 percent at the end of the year. At the time, the 1.9 million Apple shares were worth just over a billion dollars.

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The fund’s biggest stake is now in Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). According to Growth’s annual report from October 8, Apple’s had brought it “very satisfying results” with a 72.9 percent total return, Barron’s said.

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