Halfway through the morning, Apple shares continued their now-typical daily routine of selling off on no particularly relevant company-specific news. The broader market was down, but Apple was dramatically underperforming with shares off nearly $20, or almost 4%, from yesterday's close.

Elsewhere in tech
There was much carnage in the tech sector as well, with Dell , Hewlett-Packard , Intel , and NVIDIA all hitting fresh 52-week lows. Dell reported worse-than-expected third-quarter earnings last night, and unsurprisingly saw shrinkage across the board, as the PC market is in the dumps right now. Sales fell 11% while net income plunged 47%.

That's likely triggered some sympathy selling in the aforementioned PC players. All four of these companies still rely heavily on the PC market for their core businesses.

Company

PC-Related Segment(s)

Revenue

% of Total Sales (MRQ)

Dell

Mobility and Desktop PCs

$6.6 billion

48%

HP

Personal Systems Group

$8.6 billion

29%

Intel

PC Client Group

$8.6 billion

64%

NVIDIA

GPU

$739.6 million

61%


Source: SEC filings. MRQ = most recent quarter.

Intel actually received an analyst upgrade to "buy" from Standpoint Research along with a $23 price target, but that wasn't enough to stop it from tapping a new low.

Back to the Mac maker
Apple's 4G LTE-equipped iPad Minis and fourth-generation iPads were launched today, with the cellular versions available at Apple's own stores as well as the retail locations of carrier partners. This isn't a full-blown product launch, but the 3 million unit iPad launch earlier this month was for the Wi-Fi only models.

With cellular-equipped tablets gaining popularity in general lately -- both Google and Amazon.com launched cellular variants recently -- adding LTE to the newest lineup of iPads should help get more units moving.

Welcome back, old friend
Apple TV talk has simmered down in recent months, from a loud roar to a soft murmur, as the iPhone 5, iPad Mini, and fourth-generation iPad have been hogging the iSpotlight for the past couple months. Citing a report from Jefferies, AllThingsD now says at least one major domestic cable operator is doing some testing to see if it can properly support the rumored television.

Jefferies even goes as far as to say this suggests a launch may be "imminent." However, the AllThingsD shoots down this notion since there are many more pieces to the television puzzle that still need to be lined up if Apple wants to really offer a compelling and differentiated offering.

The Apple TV set is en route, but don't expect it this holiday shopping season.

Cheap is talk
Those were about the only notable storylines for Apple today, and certainly wouldn't seem like food for the bears. It's not as if investors were banking on an Apple TV being launched before year's end, so news that it's farther out shouldn't be a shocker for anyone.

Besides, all the potential of an Apple TV hasn't even been priced into the stock yet. Back in May, fellow Fool Tim Beyers ran the numbers, and amazingly, the market was valuing the Apple TV potential at zero. Apple is currently cheaper than it was in May -- in both nominal dollars and valuation.

Date

Low Trade

Trailing-12-Month EPS

P/E at Low Trade

May 18

$522.18

$41.01

12.73

Today

$505.75

$44.16

11.45

Sources: Nasdaq, SEC filings, and author's calculations.

Apple hit a relative low on May 18, just two days after Tim's article. This is how shares compared at the respective intraday lows.

Congress to the rescue (for now)
Things were looking pretty gloomy for the iPhone maker, and it looked like shares could fall below the $500 threshold, just a day after giving up its $500 billion market cap. Talk of the impending fiscal cliff has been dominating the domestic macro front lately, and mid-day optimism from congressional leaders that the crisis would be averted sparked a relief rally that helped Apple erase most of its losses on the day and even -- gasp! -- enjoy some green for a hot minute.

It might not be much, but at this point I'll take what I can get.

There is absolutely no argument that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

The article Another Day, Another Apple Selloff originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Amazon.com, Google, and Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Amazon.com, Dell, Google, Intel, and NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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