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Will Apple Q1 Surprise Beat iPhone Rivals?

As the tech-heavy Nasdaq lagged on a day that saw gains in the broader market, “Fast Money” experts focused on the challenges facing Apple — and perhaps an ace up its sleeve.

The maker of the popular iPhone and iPad saw its stock drop nearly $3 on Tuesday, closing at $373.20.

“I think these are macro forces that are affecting the market,” said Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge. “I think what’s happening here is not necessarily relevant to the fundamentals that are going on in tech, but more the macro sea that we’re all dealing with.”

Android could also be cause for concern.

“The Android phones are blowing out the door. They’re getting better,” Scaramucci said. “When that happens, you usually see margin compression in the industry leader. So, there are people in the tech world that are saying that Apple is going to be forced here to lower prices.”

Looking at options activity, trader Mike Khouw echoed the sentiment, saying a new mobile OS from Google could affect iPhone sales.

“I think Siri is the thing that makes it stickiest at this point, but I would really be worried about the Ice Cream Sandwich phones that are going to be coming out from Samsung and the new Google Nexus,” he said.

Scaramucci added that he believed Apple was biding its time for a first-quarter power play, whether a “sexy” announcement, new product or upgrade.

“It’s more than speculation,” he said, making mention of Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who died Oct. 5.

“I do think they have a game plan they’re going to assert into the first quarter of 2012,” he said.

One factor applying downward pressure on Apple stock was Corning, trader Karen Finerman said.

Corning, which manufactures touch screens for mobile devices and TVs, downgraded its fourth-quarter outlook. It closed at $13.19.

“One of the things that they did touch on, which I think is weighing on Apple, was tablet strength was not quite as robust as they thought it would be,” she said.

Earlier, trader Joe Terranova noted Apple’s break below its 200-day moving average.

“The five-month love affair with Apple has ended, unfortunately, on Friday,” he said. “I got stopped out of it, and I have to tell you, I will probably put Apple in the penalty box until after earnings in January to see if the fundamental story gets a little better than we got.”

Guy Adami said the stock’s current price made it as easy trade.

“I think that risk on the downside is fair given the upside potential of that name,” he said. “No, it hasn’t traded well but I think you have a reference point if nothing else in the form of this $360-363 level.”

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Trader disclosure: On November 29, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Terranova owns (VRTS), (AXP), (LULU), (DECK), (SBUX), (CAT), (CSCO), (HES), (SU), (EMC), (IBM); Seymour owns (AAPL), (BAC), (INTC); Finerman owns (AAPL), (BAC), (JPM), (YHOO), (IBM); Adami owns (C), (GS), (INTC).

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