Apple shares close above $400

Apple investors rejoice: The company’s stock closed at an all-time high Tuesday. Shares of the iPhone and iPad maker hit $400 a few times Monday but closed at $398.50. Tuesday shares opened at the $400 mark and actually peaked in the morning at $404.48.

Zillow to IPO Wednesday at $20 per share

Zillow, the real estate search website, has priced its initial public offering at $20 per share. The stock will begin trading under the single-letter ticker symbol “Z” on the Nasdaq exchange on Wednesday morning. Zillow will raise a total of about $75 million in the IPO.

Why Facebook may never have to go public at all

If a bill being proposed by a group of senators makes it through Congress, Facebook and many other high-profile technology stocks may never have to go public at all. That might make CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg happy, but it could also derail the tech-IPO train.

Can Twitter Help You Predict the Stock Market?

If Twitter can help you figure out which movie to see, can it also help predict which stocks will rise or fall? A German PhD student says his analysis shows it can, and he has set up a website to put his theories to the test.

WSJ Says Jobs Still in Control of Apple, But Should We Buy It?

stevewebAccording to an article in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, Steve Jobs is still very much involved in the activities of Apple (s aapl), and in fact still provides most of the vision, direction, and general control of the company. The WSJ cites people “familiar with the matter” as the source of the information, but officially Apple is remaining silent, noting only that Steve still plans to return in June.
The source also says that Tim Cook, Apple’s COO and the man in control of the company while Jobs is away on medical leave, still runs the day-to-day operations of the computer and electronics manufacturer. Meanwhile, Jobs works on big picture items from home, like testing devices, product plans and key strategy. In fact, the WSJ maintains that he was instrumental in the recent iPhone OS 3.0 update, revealed last month.
That’s not the surprising news, though. According to their sources, Jobs is also hard at work developing a new device, one that’s been hinted at many times before. Yes, it’s the elusive Apple tablet that has fanbois basically salivating. The device, if real, will be sized larger than an iPod touch or an iPhone but smaller than a Macbook (something we’ve heard about before), and it does seem to agree with recent reports of Apple ordering a significant number of 10-inch touchscreens from Taiwan. Read More about WSJ Says Jobs Still in Control of Apple, But Should We Buy It?

The Bell Now Tolls for Social Networks

I blame David Hasselhoff.

Everything was going fine for the web — the financial world had been unwinding its overleveraged excesses for nearly a year without nary a ripple into Silicon Valley — until the launch of HoffSpace, a social network revolving around the oogachaka-ing, burger-wagging actor.

Some bloggers called it a bizarre nightmare. Others decried it as the end of social networks. They were probably joking. But they were right.

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Will the Stock Market Hurt the Emissions Market?

There is so much bad news spinning out of the financial markets these days that it might be hard to spare a few moments for carbon trading markets. But the dramatic freezing up of credit around the world may threaten to spill over into the nascent market for trading carbon emissions, with potential further consequences for the global climate. Or that is at least an idea that is beginning to emerge this week.

A commentator for Reuters argued that any initial expectations that money looking for a safe haven from the stock market in the carbon markets ought to be abandoned for now. The market’s lack of history and its complex framework are making investors balk, according to some of those interviewed.

“The market is uncorrelated with equities. That may make it a safe haven, but people are not rushing into it because the technical barrier is too high,” said Frederic Brodach, portfolio management director of Dexia Carbon Fund Managers.

“The carbon market is just as risky as the turmoil going on in equities. It’s new, people don’t fully understand it, and there’s a lot of political risk,” said Trevor Sikorski, carbon analyst at Barclays Capital.

The overall emissions-trading market, valued at $13 billion, allows large companies to invest in clean energy projects in exchange for offset credits they could either put toward emission targets or trade on the market.
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Steve Jobs’ Heart Attack

Nearly a month ago, at Apple’s unveiling of the new iPod lineup for this fall, Steve Jobs quoted Mark Twain’s “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” (By the way, Snopes.com and Wikipedia both say that is even a misquote of Twain’s original comment: “The report of my death is an exaggeration.”)

Even though that remark was funny, and got a rousing round of applause, I do believe that Steve Jobs was serious: he is not as sick as all the pundits proclaim, nor is his health in any great danger. But yesterday, Apple’s stock price plummeted briefly due to reports from CNN’s iReport.com that Jobs had just had a massive heart attack and had been rushed to the hospital. Both claims turned out to be completely untrue. The really interesting part turned out to be how Apple’s shareholders reacted.

In addition to their being a temporary drop in Apple’s stock price there was also an overall drop as the stock closed for the weekend at 97.07…its lowest close in nearly 18 months. The SEC is investigating and ireport.com is cooperating fully by handing over any information they have gathered on Johntw, the poster who put up the “fradulent” story.

I don’t understand why the stock market is so volatile as to let the rumors posted on a site where the claim to fame is “Unfiltered. Unedited.” change how money is invested. Maybe iReport was going to add “Untrue. Unethical.” to the tagline, but they ran out of room, and had to settle on the first two. This could very easily be someone who thought they could make a quick buck by posting the story, buying some Apple stock, and then selling it when everyone found out it was fake. It will be interested to see what the SEC finds.

Here’s to hoping Steve Jobs stays healthy for a long time and that AAPL stock starts the trek back upward before the 21st when the 4th Quarter earnings call is scheduled.