What happened

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell as much as 6.3% on Friday. But as the trading day progressed, shares of the tech giant erased much of this decline. As of 3 p.m. EST, the stock was down just 1.7%

The stock's sharp decline in early trading hours was likely sparked by more fears in the market about the spread of COVID-19.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in front of a black background and white Apple symbol.

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicks off Apple’s March 2019 event. Image source: Apple.

So what

It's no secret that Apple has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Manufacturers and suppliers across China extended the Chinese New Year break from work earlier this year and plants resumed work slowly and cautiously after the extended holiday. The extended New Year was the result of precautions to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A slower-than-expected return to normal operations at iPhone suppliers in the country meant iPhone supply became temporarily constrained, Apple said in an update on its business on Feb. 17. As a result, the company no longer expected to meet its revenue guidance for fiscal Q2.

Shares have fallen a total of 17% since that announcement.

Now what

Some investors may have decided that the stock's slide went too far, making shares an attractive buy. Perhaps this is one reason why shares recovered so well from a 6.3% decline.

While Apple expects its fiscal second quarter to take a hit as a result of the virus, CEO Tim Cook is confident about the tech company's long-term prospects.

"By and large, I think this is a temporary condition, not a long-term kind of thing," he said in an interview with Fox Business this week. "Apple is fundamentally strong, and that's how I see it."

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.