Apple's stock hit by Web rumor

Online report that CEO Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack was false. SEC said to be investigating.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com

steve_jobs.03.jpg
Apple CEO Steve Jobs
v2-cnnmoney-chart.mkw.gif

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Apple shares fell sharply Friday morning after an erroneous Web report saying founder and CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack. Shares quickly recovered after it became clear the rumor was not true.

The posting, made on iReport, a user-generated content site run by CNN, said, "Jobs was rushed to the ER just a few hours ago after suffering a major heart attack," according to Silicon Alley Insider, a blog that took a screen shot of the posting.

Apple's stock fell 10% in 10 minutes, then recovered to trade flat most of the session before closing 3% lower.

An Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) spokesman confirmed the rumor was not true, but declined to comment as to whether the company is taking any further action.

The false report was removed from the iReport site by CNN, which is a partner in CNNMoney.com.

"iReport.com is an entirely user-generated site where the content is determined by the community," the company said in a statement. "Based on our Terms of Use that govern user behavior on iReport.com, the fraudulent content was removed from the site and the user's account was disabled."

CNN spokesperson Jennifer Martin said the company has been contacted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking information that may help identify who posted the comment.

The SEC, which regulates trading on the stock market, declined comment on the matter.

Jobs, who has played a key role in Apple's success in recent years, recently appeared visibly thin at a product conference, raising questions about his health.

While CNN clearly states the content on iReport is unedited and unfiltered, the false report also raises questions as to the credibility of user-generated content, and how much traditional media outlets should embrace such formats.

One expert said user-generated content, while obviously not perfect, does result in a lot of good stories and that the mainstream media shouldn't shy away from the growing medium.

"It's a mistake to say this indicates some type of larger problem," said Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the City University of New York. "People start rumors on Wall Street all the time. Anyone with any sanity would have said I'm going to check that out, not I'm going to sell all my stock."

CNN's Martin said the company does not plan any changes in the way iReport operates.  To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More
7 up-and-coming foodie destinations These seven cities are seeing a growing interest in local food boost the economy -- and produce some seriously tasty eats. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.