SEC investigating false report on Steve Jobs heart attack

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday it's investigating whether a false report that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack was published in a effort to manipulate the company's stock price.



The report, which appeared briefly on CNN's citizen journalist website early Friday morning, claimed that Apple co-founder had been rushed to a local emergency room following the "major heart attack."



Apple representative Steve Dowling flatly denied the report, saying it was simply "not true." The incident follows a regular series of rumors and speculation prying into Jobs' health ever since he underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and his more recent struggle with related nutrition issues that have since contributed to visible weight loss.



CNN spokeswoman Jennifer Martin told Bloomberg the content published by her company is "entirely user-generated," and that once "the community brought it to our attention, the fraudulent content was removed from the site and the user's account was disabled."



CNN's iReport.com, which served as the outlet for the false report, describes itself as a source of "Unedited. Unfiltered. News." The site "makes no guarantee about the content or coverage'' of the headlines it publishes, which are mingled together with stores that have been picked up to appear on CNN.



A month ago, Jobs made an off-hand comment to CNBC's Jim Goldman, in which he appear to blame the incessant reports focusing on his health on hedge funds who are seeking to profit in the short term on market panic created by false reports and unsubstantiated, speculative reporting.



Apple investors have expressed frustration that the company has not been more forthcoming about Jobs' health. Ryan Jacob of the Jacob Internet Fund, an Apple shareholder since 2003, told Bloomberg, "It's a tough position to be in. They [Apple] don't continually want to field questions and make news when there is no news. We as investors have to hope that if there is something material to say, they will comment quickly."



"Leaving it to rumor and speculation is reckless,'' said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, another investor who has owned Apple shares since Jobs returned to the company in 1997. "If he is healthy, they should say so. If he's not, we should know that too.''



Despite poor economic conditions, Apple's products are still setting records. Bloomberg cited analysts noting that Apple could reach a record $30 billion in sales this year. With no end in sight to Apple's growth, the most effective way to knock the company's stock price down is through fear and false reports.



Apple has been in a steep slide ever since the middle of August, despite the company's continued performance, due to a series of general concerns about the economy voiced by analysts. Just over a week ago, Katie Huberty of Morgan Stanley lowered her Apple price target from $192 to $179 citing unspecified general weakness in the "global macro-economic environment."



Over the last year, Apple's stock price has wildly fluctuated between a high of $202 and today's low of $94, shedding over $86 billion of its market capitalization over a roller coaster ride largely unrelated to the company's fundamentals and actual performance.



Word of the SEC's investigation into Friday's false iReport was first reported by the Bloomberg news service.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Not a surprise coming from the drones following the Clinton News Network.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    "Citizen Journalism" will not have failed if the perpetrator is utterly and publicly skewered.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    godriflegodrifle Posts: 266member
    Instead, they should look to Fox's unbiased, quality reporting.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crees! View Post


    Not a surprise coming from the drones following the Clinton News Network.



  • Reply 4 of 44
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    CNN's iReport.com, which served as the outlet for the false report, describes itself as a source of "Unedited. Unfiltered. News." The site "makes no guarantee about the content or coverage'' of the headlines it publishes, which are mingled together with stores that have been picked up to appear on CNN.









    Sound fimiliar?! "Totally open apps marketplace"



    Anything without some type of control is a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Great. I realize that there's an election about a month from now, but does every thread really need to have a political reference?
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Great. I realize that there's an election about a month from now, but does every thread really need to have a political reference?



    I don't McCain think it's Obama really happening as often Palin as you think. It's easy Biden to be swing state a bit oversensitive at bailout this time of the year.



    Oh, and the person you're voting for hates ice cream.



    GTSC
  • Reply 7 of 44
    This is ridiculous.



    I'm an AAPL shareholder, but come on. Maybe the SEC has something more important to be doing this week?
  • Reply 8 of 44
    http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/03/tech...pple/index.htm



    CNN has apologized and announced that they will be helping the SEC in giving them info on the fraudulent iReporter.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,155member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by godrifle View Post


    Instead, they should look to Fox's unbiased, quality reporting.



    Fox don't report news! They just make it up
  • Reply 10 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Newborn View Post


    This is ridiculous.



    I'm an AAPL shareholder, but come on. Maybe the SEC has something more important to be doing this week?



    No it's not. As we have seen, our problem in the US has not been lack of laissez-faire.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AHeneen View Post


    http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/03/tech...pple/index.htm



    CNN has apologized and announced that they will be helping the SEC in giving them info on the fraudulent iReporter.



    Heh heh. I'll bet Anderson Cooper's portfolio took a major dive and hence their concern......
  • Reply 12 of 44
    mchumanmchuman Posts: 154member
    The SEC should prosecute REGARDLESS.



    Yelling fire in a crowded theater is illegal.



    This is negligent behavior. The SEC should prosecute.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by McHuman View Post


    The SEC should prosecute REGARDLESS.



    Yelling fire in a crowded theater is illegal.



    This is negligent behavior. The SEC should prosecute.



    Negligent on the part of CNN? Unless you have some sort of proof that CNN knew about it and didn't act to erase it in due time, negligence is a silly, ignorant charge. It's a different site designed specifically for user generated content. I don't see anything that says it was on CNN.com, nor was it presented as a CNN story.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Wow, there used to be a lot of "Apple is teh D00med!" claims back in the day... Now it's all "Steve Jobs is teh D00med!". Poor Steve.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Negligent on the part of CNN? Unless you have some sort of proof that CNN knew about it and didn't act to erase it in due time, negligence is a silly, ignorant charge. It's a different site designed specifically for user generated content. I don't see anything that says it was on CNN.com, nor was it presented as a CNN story.



    I'm sure he meant the poster should be prosecuted, not CNN. I concur; stock manipulation of this sort (if that what it proves to be) is a criminal offense.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    I'm sure he meant the poster should be prosecuted, not CNN. I concur; stock manipulation of this sort (if that what it proves to be) is a criminal offense.



    I thought so at first too, but negligence doesn't fit the iReport poster's deed. Maybe it was just a poorly chosen word. I can't think of the perfect word, but malice is a lot closer, if there was intent.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by McHuman View Post


    The SEC should prosecute REGARDLESS.



    Yelling fire in a crowded theater is illegal.



    This is negligent behavior. The SEC should prosecute.



    Who does it hurt? Day traders? Too bad. Where do we draw the line on stuff like this? If I say it as a joke in a bar on Wall Street can I be prosecuted? If it were April 1 would you want the SEC to go after this guy? Should whoever made the mistake at Bloomberg last month be jailed?



    Anyone who sold without a better source than this isn't really cut out for investing in a high profile company like aapl.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    Who does it hurt? Day traders? Too bad. Where do we draw the line on stuff like this? If I say it as a joke in a bar on Wall Street can I be prosecuted? If it were April 1 would you want the SEC to go after this guy? Should whoever made the mistake at Bloomberg last month be jailed?



    Anyone who sold without a better source than this isn't really cut out for investing in a high profile company like aapl.



    Who it hurts is the person(s) who are planning to pull money out that day for family vacation, medical bills, new car etc.. It also hurts, if the stock was used for collateral for a loan, a.k.a. margin, when the stock drops substantially then a margin call may/is generated causing the stock owner grief.



    What it hurts is the trust that common people who rely on the stock market to generate a return on their savings greater than the rate of inflation. If nobody can trust the market to be fair, then they would be better off going to Las Vegas.



    SEC should investigate and make the call if it was to manipulate or a joke and take appropriate action.



    I agree entirely with your last statement, and I concur there should be no sympathy for the day trader.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    Who does it hurt?



    It hurts every single holder of AAPL. There is no proof that the dip in the stock will ever be fully recovered--any future increases will be based on the price it fell to after this hoax, not the price it would have been.



    And if the people who released this hoax did in fact short AAPL or buy it at the resulting dip price, then they are wholly guilty of fraud. Their profit did not come out of thin air, it came out of someone else's pocket under false pretenses.



    Stop trying to defend the guilty and blame the victims. It never ceases to amaze me how many Americans insist on doing that.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    I think Apple should play them at their own game. Just leak out some false stories themselves and watch the stock jump around like mad. Eventually, the idiots who buy and sell based on the health of the CEO will just give up and realise that it's not really relevant.



    "breaking news from Apple headquarters: Steve slipped on some soap in the shower, it's touch and go"

    stock go down

    two days laters - "turns out it was fake Steve Jobs who slipped on the soap"

    stock go up

    but wait, "breaking news: Steve choked on a pretzel"

    stock go down

    two days later "yeah, he just coughed it back up a couple of days ago, no harm done"

    stock go up



    It really just shows how low people in marketing and the stock exchange really are when they try and put a monetary value on people's lives.



    Although Jobs has clearly played a significant role in Apple's success, they need to emphasize that Apple could go on without him. He's always the front man for presentations and marketing the likes of the iphone and it kind of gives people the impression that he soldered and built the thing in his garage.



    WWDC 09, let Forstall take the whole stage about Snow Leopard since it's not really a consumer release and have Steve come in for the 'and more thing'. I don't think they should remove Steve from what he loves to do but just make it clear there's more to Apple.
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