How will Apple shares fare with Jobs' passing?
The consensus is that CEO Tim Cook is a winner and that the company has an enormously talented work force. But the stock historically has been volatile. One irony: Apple had only recently lost its position as the world's most valuable company.
Updated: 11:35 a.m. ET Thursday
Steve Jobs lived long enough to see Apple (AAPL) become the most valuable company in the world. But on the day he died, at age 56, exactly six weeks after resigning as the CEO of the company he co-founded, Apple was the second-most-valuable company in the world.
The stock was up 1.2% to $382.94 in morning trading Thursday. As of Wednesday's close, it sported a market capitalization of $350.7 billion. That's second only to that of Exxon Mobil (XOM), which rose 1.5% Wednesday, closing at $73.95. Its market cap was $359.4 billion.
Apple's market cap had been greater than Exxon's between Sept. 8 and Monday. On Tuesday, Exxon took the title back.
Jobs' death now raises the uncomfortable question: Was Apple's stock price all about Steve Jobs?
We won't know the long-term answer for some time.
Apple is a volatile stock. It has always been a volatile stock, and, between its hitting an all-time high of $422.86 on Sept. 20 and Wednesday, it dropped 10.6%.
Exxon's change over the same time frame -- from the high on Sept. 20 through Wednesday's close: down 1.4%. The change for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX): was 4.8%. The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) fell 4.9%. Apple represents about 12% of the index's value.
One big reason for Apple's volatility has been its popularity among hedge funds, whose managers in recent years have seen Apple as the one stock they had to own. That's great while the market is stable or rising. But when the market has fallen apart and hedge funds were forced to raise cash, they sold Apple.
At the end of 2007, Apple's shares briefly topped $200 and finished the year at $198.08. It never came close to that level in 2008 and did not bottom until Jan. 20, 2009 -- the day Barack Obama became president -- at $78.20. That was a decline of 60.5%. The Nasdaq's loss was 45%.
But the consensus since, say, last winter, when Jobs took a second medical leave of absence -- has been that the company is in great hands with Tim Cook, who became the acting CEO and permanent CEO on Aug. 24.
Cook may not have Jobs' flash, but his impact on Apple has been enormous. Cook is responsible for building Apple's production system, which relies on others to manufacture its products. At the same time, Apple's management ranks are so deep in talent that the company should transition into a world without Steve.
Moreover, between Aug. 24,when Cook became CEO, and its peak on Sept. 20, Apple's shares rose 9.9%. It's the market that's pulled Apple lower.
My condolences to Steve Job's family & friends as you were one on the true decent people in this world that revolutionized the computer industry. You leave huge shoes to fill but I'm sure you prepared those under you to continue your ideas & work ethic.
As far as Wall Street's reaction...who cares!!! All they are looking for on Wall Street is to manipulate money & put more in their greedy pockets & always looking for an excuse to justify their greed! How about we respect the man who made them billions over the course of his brilliant career & let the man get the due respect he deserves before you start manipulating!!!
Steve Jobs is one of the most brilliant men who walked the earth his legacy speaks for itself and if everyone in Apple follows his lead the company will do fine and thrive as it has in the past.
Steve Job is a legend to the world, he contributed his talent not only to a new technology but also to economics, bring people's dream, create miracle, create jobs, a spirit pursuit perfect...he is a model to all people who has passion to do something change the world to next higher level...
A world can't depend on one person or few people, his passed left us a forever memory, positive influence to our decedents. We respect all he has done to us to the world. With our respect, with Apple team's efforts, Apple will continue break his record to next higher level.
We bought Apple stock, Apple products because we respect Steve's spirit The whole Apple team respects our money, bring us good return. We trust Steve, we also trust the whole Apple team. In return, we will continue support the whole Apple team.
Wall Street may have manipulate money, greedy pocket playing gamble on Apple's efforts. It just shows two different types of investors, one invest and support; another speculate and pulling down. I want to say: Apple team, we trust you.
People who help people, in one way or another, will always be missed. Steve Jobs was among them. God Bless Them!
My friend below should know that Jesus Christ lives, just like Christianity and what makes it all possible.
I can't believe you just compared Jobs with JC!
You Libs kill me......
How has Apple been faring lately??
When Christ died, Christianity didn't.
But then again we are speaking of oranges and apples..........
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