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AAPL Stock: 95.6 ( -2.55 )

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SEC looks into false Jobs heart attack claim

updated 10:15 am EDT, Sat October 4, 2008

SEC Looks at False Claim

The SEC said on Friday that it would investigate a false claim made earlier in the day that Apple chief Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack. The hunt is prompted after the reportedly inaccurate assertion, made on CNN's iReport citizen journalism site, triggered a panic sell-off in the stock market and ultimately contributed to Apple's stock trading at a new 52-week low. Company shares ended the day at $97.07 and reached below $100 for the first time since May 2007, or just before the release of the original iPhone.

CNN isn't believed to be the direct target of the SEC. The news outlet's iReport section is disclaimed as unfiltered and potentially inaccurate, and so not to be taken as representative of CNN's official position. The company is known to have pulled the story and disabled the account of the contributor shortly after the inaccurate post's effect on Apple shares became clear.

Apple itself maintained that the report is "not true," according to company spokesman Steve Dowling, who reported Jobs being in good health soon after the iReport story appeared.

The Mac producer has nonetheless drawn criticism for its insistence that Jobs' health is a "private matter" and for failing to outline a direct succession plan should Jobs' health or career decisions remove him from the key company position. It was not until an off-record newspaper conversation that Jobs revealed that his unusually thin look at this year's WWDC keynote, which itself resulted in a gradual decline of Apple share value, was triggered by nutritional problems.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. frijole

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +11

    succession plan?

    i'm curious... how many other large companies have public succession plans? microsoft? hp? dell?

    hmm, no?

    the double-standard applied to Apple is absolutely ridiculous, and the person who must have made a ton shorting the stock deserves to get nailed to the wall for it.

  1. frijole

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    i fail at the internet

    gah oops double post.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Hunt...

    It'll be interesting where this investigation leads to, once the person behind the account is revealed. If it ends up being any institutionalized holdings, or any of the larger brokerages, there'll be some nasty repercussions.

    Unfortunately, it'll most likely just end up being some kid.


  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Speaking of which...

    Was there ever a report on finding out who did the fake Apple email last year about Leopard and the iPhone being delayed, causing stock to fall also?

  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Private matter?

    Apple's secrecy is funny, but it may end up costing them... From the moment Jobs retook the helm of Apple, the stock has done nothing but rise. If you look at Apple's stock for the last four years for example, you'll see something quite amazing.

    Now, if you consider all the events related to Jobs' health in the past, and how heavy the blows to Apple's stock have been during those.. it almost seems irresponsible to consider the CEO's health a completely private matter. If Jobs dies tomorrow, Apple will take a blow that might be hard to recover from unless they deal with it. I'm sure they've got some kind of succession plan set up, but for now they need to become a lot more transparant. What's this stubborn c*** of it being a private matter, when nothing is really wrong with him? If Jobs would have made a statement immediately after the incident, I'm sure Apple's stock would have crawled back up just as fast... But we all know Apple would rather dwell in secrecy... It's absurd.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    Re: succession plan

    i'm curious... how many other large companies have public succession plans? microsoft? hp? dell?

    hmm, no?

    the double-standard applied to Apple is absolutely ridiculous, and the person who must have made a ton shorting the stock deserves to get nailed to the wall for it.


    It isn't a double-standard (I love how it seems like Apple is just the whipping boy of all things wall street). If you look at the company, the entire rise is credited to Steve Jobs (and if you doubt that, you don't deserve to be writing here). The loss of Jobs could be a huge blow to the company, and having a public succession plan that the stockholders (you know, the OWNERS of the company) can believe in will settle a lot of fears.

    As for other companies, are you saying monkey-boy is so indispensable that, if he were to die tomorrow, MS would suffer because of it? Really? I think if MS had a succession plan that people liked, there'd be a groundswell of support to push out Ballmer immediately. And we wouldn't want that, would we?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    stock

    And what is really amazing is how anyone can pay attention to an open and un-edited, uncheckd web site like iReport, and just believe c*** on it. That, in itself, should concern stockholders of all companies.

    And it was probably some goofball MS-loving person who just wanted to put a panic into the Apple-fan-boys. I seriously doubt anyone would be stupid enough to try to make money on the deal (esp. since the stock didn't really skyrocket back up)

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    a stock doesn't...

    ...have to skyrocket back up for you to make money on a manipulation like this. your goal in driving it down is by betting against the stock and you make money off the dive, not off the rebound.

  1. UnCal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Wonderful.

    It's both perplexing and sad that one can be criticised for putting discretion and dignity before profit - but seeing as this is Wall Street, I should really have expected that.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Re: wonderful

    People seem to forget something. Apple is OWNED by the stockholders. It isn't owned by Jobs and run for him. The stockholders are the ones who put money into the company. And if they feel the company has issues, be that future outlook or concern over a key man's health, they start selling stock. It's Apple's executives responsibility to respond to the stockholders concerns, not treat them like children. For if you treat them that way, they may just sell off, driving down the value of the stock and pissing off all those non-stockholder apple fanboys who apparently base their own ego on Apple's stock price.

    If you owned a company, and you had a prized employee who you felt was one pretty much responsible for your success, wouldn't you be concerned about his health? Wouldn't you want to have a succession plan in case he leaves, for whatever reason?

    But unless you own stock, worrying about the price or what analysts say is irrelevant. It has no effect on the company as a whole, their plans, products, or future.

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