Investors took a bite out of Apple's market capitalization on Wednesday, sending its shares diving by more than four percent after a clearinghouse hiked margin requirements on the stock.
In early trading, COR Clearing sent Apple's shares swooning when it announced that it was changing its margin requirements on Apple to 60 percent from 30 percent. The move effectively raises the amount of capital that investors are required to have when they take positions in the stock.
The news came just as the iPhone maker's shares had managed to extricate itself from a prolonged slump. COR's bombshell, however, sent Apple reeling back into bear territory: the tech giant is down more than 20 percent from its record high of $705 in September.
Despite a suite of new products such as the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, Apple is facing an onslaught of competition, primarily from Samsung and Google. Both companies are challenging the tech behemoth's traditional dominance in smartphones and tablet devices, in an ever intensifying digital war for the loyalty of tech savvy consumers.