Apple stock: Don't panic. Don't panic. Ok...panic!

After weeks of pressing our hands against our ears and shouting, “La, la, la” in an attempt to drown out the sound of Apple’s stock crumbling, the collapse has become too large and loud to ignore. On Wednesday, Apple’s stock was down $23.37 or 4.03% to $556.83.

The stock is still up for the year (for now, anyway). But it has come down considerably in just a few weeks since it topped $700 per share in mid-September.

Yes, Apple has had some stumbles here and there. Crappy maps on the new iPhone. They chucked iOS guru Scott Forstall out on his ear. The iPad Mini debuted to mini lines. Oh, and it seems that the iPad has been losing some serious market share.

But hey, they’re still Apple, right? From Reuters:

“Apple, long a mainstay of many fund portfolios, has lost 20 percent — $130 billion of its market value — since hitting a record high in September. A 20 percent slump signals a bear market in a stock to Wall Street.”

And:

“Apple has maintained a torrid pace of growth in recent years thanks to a run of successful iPhones and iPads. But many investors question whether it can keep innovating and keep ahead of ever-more aggressive competition under new management, installed after the death of its chief inspiration Steve Jobs.”

CEO Tim Cook was the subject of many flattering profiles back in August when he celebrated his first anniversary running the company. But now the real test of his leadership has begun. Can he prove that he can keep Apple on top? Can he keep the legion of Apple fans faithful?

Cook’s second year as CEO is already looking to be filled with far more drama than his first.