Nasdaq, NYSE Allow Trading Despite Confusing Behavior at Apple
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Major stock exchanges allowed trading in Apple Computer Inc. and National Semiconductor Corp. Friday despite confusing signals from the companies about news that Apple’s top executives had been replaced by the leader of National.
Stock exchanges can delay trading of a company’s stock prior to release of important news that could affect the share price, such as a merger deal or management shakeup. A trading halt, usually about a half-hour, is aimed creating a level playing field for investors by ensuring everyone knows about important events.
But in the case of Apple’s executive changes, word came from newspapers, not the companies themselves, and so the stock exchanges decided to let the shares trade, officials said.
Several newspapers reported Friday that Apple chief executive Michael Spindler and chairman A.C. ``Mike″ Markkula had been replaced by Gil Amelio, chief executive officer of National Semiconductor.
The Nasdaq Stock Market, where Apple trades, called Apple executives before the market’s opening to see if they had an announcement but they said no.
Market surveillance chief Lynn Nellius said the exchange decided to let trading proceed because the newspapers’ reports had been widely disseminated and Apple had no imminent announcement.
At the New York Stock Exchange, home to National Semiconductor’s stock, spokesman Raymond Pellecchia Jr. said the exchange believed the announcement ``would not affect the stock significantly and so a trading halt was not ordered.″
National issued a statement at 11:30 EST that Amelio had resigned but it did not say what he would do next. Apple had said nothing by mid-afternoon, however.
An Apple spokeswoman declined comment when asked if the company was in danger of violating securities disclosure laws.
Apple was up 87 1/2 cents at $29.25 in mid-afternoon trading, while National Semiconductor was down 25 cents at $17.50.