Apple sales to hit roadblock ahead: Analyst

People entering an Apple store in New York
Adrees Latif | Reuters

Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded shares of Apple to a hold from a buy Wednesday, becoming one of the few bears on the stock, which remains a top holding among investors.

The move comes after the tech giant's stock closed below its 200-day moving average this week, a key technical level it hasn't breached significantly since September 2013.

Shares of the world's biggest company with a market value of $650 billion have fallen 12 percent from an intraday high of $133 reached July 20.

The main catalyst for the downgrade, according to BofA analyst Wamsi Mohan, is a projected deceleration in iPhone sales, the main driver of revenue and profit for the company.