Thursday, August 25, 2011

Apple's (AAPL) Jobs Resigns and CME Hikes Margins on Gold for 2nd Time in a Week

For those living under a rock Steve Jobs has resigned his post as CEO, as widely reported last night, for obvious health reasons.  While it is not a surprise this would eventually happen, the timing was not something widely known.  The stock reacted poorly immediately, falling some 5% in after hours but is recovering some this morning.  I do not think this will cause any major issue in the next 1-2 years due to product life cycle, but is more problematic longer term.  But in a market where long term is 'next week', it's an over reaction to see any material change today.

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple''s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple''s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


As for gold, we are seeing the same situation as silver in April - multiple margin hikes in a short period of time, and a heavy reversal.  Gold is down 1% again today already after a big 5%+ loss yesterday.  Yesterday after the close CME announced margin hikes of close to 30%.  It is a bit bemusing on a few fronts ... first, when oil was rampaging up in 2008 I don't recall the margin hikes coming left and right like they have done with precious metals this year.  With oil affecting everything in the food chain, you'd think speculation in that commodity was far more important.  Second, one wonders who 'knew' of the margin hikes ahead of time.  We'll never find out...

As for the market, I don't expect much to happen today as we await Moses to bring down the tablets from Mount Jackson Hole and bless us tomorrow.  Weekly claims were over 400K again, but at this point all news is good news - as bad news = more easing, and good news = good news.  Funny how psychology changes on a dime.

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