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Well, so much for that. Apple loses $10 billion in value in a few short minutes.

So, how quickly things change. Yesterday, I wrote "Apple: most valuable company on Earth?" Today, not so much.
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Written by David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer on

AAPL performance on 2/10/2011, courtesy CBS Marketwatch

So, how quickly things change. Yesterday, I wrote Apple: most valuable company on Earth? Today, not so much.

As CNN reported, Apple's stock was hovering at about $360 a share at 1pm. By 1:39pm, it took a dive, dropping to $349.

The good news for investors was that Apple's sudden dive wasn't either permanent or fatal. The company rebounded -- not all the way, but at least to near where it had started.

So what caused the crash? It could be that the lines for the Verizon iPhone are shorter than expected, but that could be because everyone pre-ordered in minutes and those who didn't pre-order heard the phone is already sold out.

But another rumor is out there and particularly disturbing. The site Stock Tick Toc is reporting on rumors that Steve Jobs is in the hospital.

Although we've given Jobs a lot of guff over the years, we hope he's healthy and doing just fine. On the other hand, he has been rather private with his medical condition in the past.

Even so, best wishes go to Steve Jobs and his family and we're hoping this stock drop is a mere matter of a bad few minutes and not something worse.

Legal people would probably put a ton of disclaimers here, but here's the best I've got: don't use this article or any other as a basis for investing. Consider yourself fully disclaimed.

So, what do you think would cause Apple's stock to tank, but only for a few minutes? TalkBack below.

Update: Horrid typos fixed courtesy of ZDNet Education blogger Chris Dawson.

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