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SEC Launches Investigation in Jobs Heart Attack Rumor

by , 8:10 AM EDT, October 6th, 2008

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into the false report that Apple CEO Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack. Apple's stock price took a nose dive after a "citizen journalism" report appeared on CNN's iReport Web site Friday morning, and now the government agency is attempting to determine if the post was an intentional act to drive the company's stock down, according to Bloomberg.

CNN spokeswoman Jennifer Martin confirmed that the news company is cooperating with the government investigation into the incident. The company, however, does assert that it "makes no guarantee about the content or coverage" found on its iReport Web site.

The false report claiming Mr. Jobs had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital appeared on CNN's iReport Web site in the morning on October 3, after which the Mac and iPhone maker's stock began a fast downward spiral almost immediately, dropping from US$106.50 down to $94.65.

Apple vice president of Worldwide Communications, Katie Cotton, replied to the report by stating "It is not true." Company spokesman Steve Dowling backed up Ms. Cotton's statement later in an interview.

Concerns over Mr. Jobs's health have continued to plague investors and analysts ever since he revealed that he had been treated for pancreatic cancer four years ago. Those concerns were raised to a new level earlier this year during his public appearance at the company's World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco. The media and analysts reported that Mr. Jobs looked too thin and began speculating that he might be sick.

Apple claimed at the time that Mr. Jobs was suffering from a "common bug," and has since refused to comment on his health other than to say it is a personal matter.

The SEC has not commented on its investigation, and is not offering a time table for its conclusion.

Apple's stock is currently trading in the pre-market at $92.52, down 4.55 (4.69%).

If you are interested in Apple's stock, join our forum members in the Apple Finance Boards, a moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Apple's financial dealings. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report.

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