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Shares of Apple Inc. fell modestly Tuesday following the company's disclosure that Steve Jobs, the CEO who transformed the niche computer maker into the most-envied consumer-electronics brand today, is taking another medical leave of absence.
Analysts believe the company Jobs shepherded from garage startup to a $65 billion technology trendsetter is in good hands with the current slate of talented executives — even as Apple, now the Silicon Valley player to beat, faces increasing competition from Google Inc. and others.
Investors appeared to agree. Although shares fell nearly 7 percent in Frankfurt Monday, when markets in the U.S. were closed, Apple lost only $7.17, or 2 percent, to $341.31 in midday trading Tuesday. Earlier Tuesday, stock traded as low as $326.
In the last decade, Jobs, 55, has survived a rare but curable form of pancreatic cancer and undergone a liver transplant. The news that he will again step back from his day-to-day role raises serious questions about the CEO's health.
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