Although the market was closed on Monday for MLK Day, there was significant news that hit the market as Apple (AAPL, $348.48, up $2.80) announced its CEO, Steve Jobs, has decided to take another medical leave of absence. In a corporate email sent out yesterday morning, Mr. Jobs informed employees of his third medical leave but wasn’t specific on details about his illness. He also said he would still maintain his CEO title during the time away and he would still be involved with all important decisions pertaining to the company.
Apple’s stock has historically held up well during his leave and has gone on to make news highs over the years upon his returns. However, there will be a lot of volatility this time around because the company will also announce earnings after the closing bell today.
There were a number of talking heads who predicted a 10% drop today which is what happened the last time he took leave and would mean a $35 haircut and a test near $310. The good news is the Apple headline risk seems to be limited as the futures are showing a mixed open. Shares of Apple are down $15, to $333, in pre-market action.
The Nasdaq 100 futures were down over 1% at one point when the news came out yesterday but improved slightly overnight. Apple makes up 20% of the index so expect a volatile day.
Currently, Dow futures are up 16 points to 11,741 while the S&P 500 futures are down a point to 1,288. The Nasdaq 100 futures are lower by 18 points to 2,302.
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