Apple: After The Plunge


Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs stunned shareholders and the tech world by announcing that he was taking a leave of absence until the end of June due to health reasons.

"During the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought," Jobs said in an email to Apple employees.

"In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June," he added.

Jobs, 52 years old, is a survivor of pancreatic cancer.

Apple's stock was halted shortly before the statement was released outlining developments -- and then it plunged as much as 7% after hours.

Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders

CNBC’s Jim Goldman explains to the Fast Money traders that his sources are seriously concerned about Jobs’ health. However Goldman emphasizes that he doesn’t know if the cancer has come back.

The news was likely kept under wraps because the stock market questions if Apple can thrive without Jobs at the helm.

Piper Jaffrey Apple analyst Gene Munster reminds the traders that no one can replace Steve Jobs, but the new leader Tim Cook is “very capable of running the operations of the company. But replacing the magic of Steve Jobs is impossible."

How should you trade Apple?

"Down $10 Apple is a trading buy," says Jeff Macke.

"I think we’ll see a 100 million volume day on Thursday. If we do, I also think it’s a buy for a trade," adds Guy Adami.

"Under $80 a share the stock looks awfully cheap to me too," says Pete Najarian. "And I would use the options and sell the premium."

"Investors will probably become very frustrated with the response from Apple and frustrated responses are not fundamental," adds Gene Munster. "That should create a buying window. We still think Apple will come in-line with the Street."

And if you're already an Apple shareholder Musnter says don't panic. "Look at the big picture. It's a disappointment and the news will take value out of the stock but Apple is grossly undervalued. My recommendation would be wait for the storm to pass," he says.

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Trader disclosure: On Jan. 14th, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (TM), (DIS), (MSFT), (SDS), (AAPL); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (BTU), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), NUE); Seymour Owns (BAC), (EEM), (F), (TSO), (AAPL); Najarian Owns (HSBC), (MSFT), (MS), (CSCO), (XME); Najarian Owns (DNA) Calls, (NVLS) Calls, (NVDA) Calls; Najarian Owns (C) Puts; Najarian Owns (CSCO) Short Calls; Najarian Owns (MS) Short Calls with wires