Apple's shares slide 4 percent to five-month low


Shares of Apple Inc slid almost 4 percent on Wednesday to a five-month low, outpacing the U.S. stock market's post-U.S. election losses, and slipping into bearish territory.

Stock in the world's most valuable technology company has dropped more than 20 percent from a record high in September, entering what the market recognizes as bearish ground. It hit a low of $558.38 on Wednesday, before trading down 3.5 percent at $559.74 around midday.

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While Apple shares have appreciated 38 percent so far this year, the company faces unprecedented competition during the crucial holiday season as rivals such as Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Google and Inc challenge its dominance in smartphones and tablets.

The company saw its market share slide to 50 percent in the key tablet arena, while arch-foe Samsung more than doubled its share to 18.4 percent, according to research firm IDC.

Analysts say the company remains a solid long-term bet, but uncertainty persists in the near term after CEO Tim Cook ousted veteran mobile software chief Scott Forstall and the company failed to meet analysts' expectations on its latest quarterly results. (Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Bernadette Baum)