With the US Stock Exchange closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance, the overseas exchanges will be the venue for reaction and reflection on the announcement this morning of Steve Jobs' medical leave.
Some analyst predictions have forecast Apple's stock to reach the $450-500 level, but that may need to be reconsidered in light of the news today. Apple's most recent stock price was $348.48. Apple shares fell more than 6 percent in German trading today, according to a CNBC tweet (most US financial networks are dark for the holiday, although the gang at Fox Business Network are live all day; our own Victor Agreda is scheduled to be on at 1 PM ET to discuss the story).
Apple has been criticized in the past for failing to have a clear and public plan of succession should Jobs leave the company or be incapacitated for health problems (although, in fairness, few public companies make their succession plans a matter of record). During Jobs' leave for his liver transplant, Tim Cook was in charge and was generally considered to have steered a smooth course for the multi-billion dollar enterprise.
Those succession discussions are sure to be renewed in the days to come; at the same time, everyone joins us in wishing Steve Jobs good luck and a rapid recovery.