A story on CNN’s iReport website claimed that Apple CEO was rushed to the hospital following a massive heart attack. As news of the story broke, Apple’s shares plumeted 10 points. The stock returned to normal levels once Apple categorically denied the story.
CNN’s iReport is a forum for ordinary citizens to report the news, and give the scoop on breaking stories. Therefore, this hoax could have been the work of a prankster. But at the same time, lying about the health of Steve Jobs to affect Apple’s stock price is nothing new. Steve Jobs himself attributed all of the rumors regarding his health to hedge funds with a big short position on Apple. Let’s hope, though, that this was just an innocent prank. Given the recent economic turmoil, and the stories emerging about investment banks and hedge funds manipulating all sorts of securities, it would be discouraging if such tactics were still being used in today’s economic crisis.