Sounds intense. If it were true.
The note reportedly came from trader Peter Boockvar. I called him this evening and he not only distanced himself from the note, but says there never was one. No alert. No broad warning to clients or traders of any kind. Turns out one trader was communicating with one
client via email and when asked whether he had heard of the rumors, Boockvar said yes and from then on, the "news" was attributed to his firm.
"We weren't issuing any kind of report," Boockvar tells me. "We don't have an Apple analyst. We don't even have a tech analyst!"
But the damage was done. I got a mention of this on at the end of Closing Bell near 5 p.m. EDT today. Trouble was, the trading day was already done, and Apple investors saw $8 billion in market cap wiped away because of what seems like overly aggressive reporting that turned out not to be true.
I'm all for aggressive. I'm all for peeling back the PR white-wash that can dominate tech news from time to time. I'm all for working fast and being tough. I'm also all for being fair; and mostly, I'm all for being right. I've made my fair share of mistakes. You can't do this job properly without making mistakes. Even the best basketball and water polo and hockey players commit fouls and penalties when they play the game.
But today's coverage of Apple just seemed sloppy. And sadly, the company and its shareholders paid the price. I talked with another trader at Miller Tabak who told me he was just stunned at what happened today. How simple conversation between one individual and
another could instantly be blown so far out of proportion. And for no apparent reason. He was shocked.
Today's Apple action is a wrenching reminder that investors can no longer be content simply considering the source. Investors have to take matters into their own hands and do some research of their own.
Especially with journalistic lines so blurred nowadays between TV, internet, newspapers, and blog; all of whom proclaiming their legitimacy, accuracy and relevance. I'm not proclaiming my perfection; or even CNBC's. I've copped to mistakes I've made. And that's the lesson here: we all make mistakes.
It's just that this one could've easily been avoided with a little more attention paid to "journalism," and a little less paid to the "noise." Type first and ask questions later doesn't work in print, on the air, or even online.
Apple should be an interesting play on Wednesday. It's almost like the company's going to be on sale: 7% off!