A report from CNN's iReport, a citizen journalism site with the tag line "Unedited. Unfiltered. News," ran a headline saying Jobs was rushed to the hospital after a heart attack.
So what to make of this blip in the news cycle? It's an instructive lesson for investors. The scare is just another example of how quickly random headlines can sink your investments. Look at the errant posting of a six-year-old story about United's bankruptcy on September 8 that send shares down 75 percent during a single day before the mistake could be sorted out.
As for the Apple report, so far nobody is charging anything nefarious. But I can't see any reason to expect that the wide spigot of news now available to anybody with a Google Alert set for "Apple" won't be used to shelter market manipulators using tactics like this to push share prices around for illegal gain.
If nothing else, Apple's morning scare shows just how closely everyday stock jockeys need to follow the news.