Apple shares fall on Steve Jobs rumor

Gizmodo quotes unidentified source on CEO's health

SAN FRANCISCO -- Shares of Apple fell as much as 2% on Tuesday after technology Web site Gizmodo reported a "rumor" that CEO Steve Jobs' health was declining.

A spokesman for Apple declined comment on the rumor.

When asked about Jobs' health, the spokesman said: "If ever Steve or the board of directors decided that he was no longer capable of doing his job as CEO of Apple, I'm sure they will let you know."

Gizmodo quoted a "solid source," which it did not identify, as saying that Jobs' "rapidly declining" health was the real reason behind his decision to cancel a keynote speech at next week's MacWorld conference. It titled the report "rumor."

Apple shares had been trading up 1.5% at $87.92 before moving sharply lower. The stock then recovered to trade down about half a% at $86.15 by midafternoon.

"The main reason why Apple shares have sold off midday is that a website reported that Steve Jobs health is getting worse, citing an unidentified source," said William Lefkowitz, an options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments.

"However, this is not the first time Steve Jobs health has come into question. In the past, this has created large fluctuations in Apple stock," he said.