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Steve Jobs Heart-Attack Hoax Slams Apple Stock

Talk about a skittish market.

Usually when stocks fall because of "rumors," the source is unclear, some kind of inter-trader chatter that causes enough heads to turn to cause shares in a name to bounce around. At least in this case, there's a paper trail.

Shares of Apple Inc., which opened marginally higher Friday, briefly dipped on a CNN iReport that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack and had been rushed to a hospital.

It's hard to overstate the lack of credibility this report has, but that doesn't stop short-term trading types.

The story was posted by a user named "johntw," and may have had an impact on the shares, which dropped sharply, to $94.65, before recovering.

An Apple spokeswoman said this report was untrue.

Were this to have appeared on a random stock messaging board somewhere, it would likely have had little impact, but CNN has put its weight behind this iReport endeavor, saying on its Web site that "we've launched an independent world where you, the iReport.com community, tell the stories we're not used to seeing. And the most compelling, important, and urgent ones may get seen on CNN."

They do say, however, that "the views and content on this site are solely those of the iReport.com contributors. CNN makes no guarantees about the content or the coverage on iReport.com!"

• Click here to read the rest of this report on the Wall Street Journal Web site.

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