Another day, another drop in Apple stock caused by a questionable rumor about the health of CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs' health has been in question since he appeared at WWDC in a somewhat gaunt condition. However, as Jobs himself said with a slide positioned directly behind him, the "rumors of his death are greatly exaggerated."
The latest set of rumors were from Gizmodo. A post
at their site said:
Steves health is rapidly declining. Apple is choosing to remove the
hype factor strategically vs letting the hype destroy apple when the inevitable news comes later this spring.
This strategic loss will be less of a bang with investors. This is why Macworld is a no-go anymore.
No more Steve means no more hype. Saying they are no longer needing
[Macworld] is the cover designed by the worldwide "loyalty" department.
Now, Gizmodo was cautious about the rumor. But it affected Apple stock. Just take a look at today's chart, and we're sure you can guess when the rumor hit the wire. Right?
And the rumors wer promptly debunked by CNBC, who said:
I was told two weeks ago by sources inside Apple that the decision had
nothing to do with Jobs' health. I got the same message today. Period.
will say again: if Apple is lying, holding some truth back,
manipulating its own stock by manipulating the truth, someone — indeed
a lot of people — could be going to jail. Do I like the way Apple has
handled this ongoing story? No. But do I traffic in rumors to fill the
void the company has created by not choosing to be more forthcoming
about Jobs' health? Absolutely not.
Ouch! Obviously Gizmodo is in the biz of breaking stories. But in this case, their rumor caused a big drop in Apple's market capitalization. What do you think, readers? Should a rumor that might affect a company's stock be vetted more carefully? You might recall the iReport Steve Jobs story that caused a major tanking earlier this year, when an unfounded "heart attack" rumor was posted.