US stock futures are starting to pull back from overnight highs and now point to flat open on Wall St. Stocks were buoyed by hopes that European policy makers will coordinate a program to back-stop European banks. The Bank of England announced it would be launching another round of quantitative easing to stimulate the economy, and most think the US Fed won’t be far behind. The ECB held interest rates steady in its announcement at 7:45am ET, and the market sold off on the news.
Much of that news overnight, however, was overshadowed by the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple’s (AAPL) iconic CEO, at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer. Jobs was a “visionary and creative genius” and a “dear friend and inspiring”, said recently anointed CEO Tim Cook in an email to employees. It was a somber scene last night at the company’s Cupertino, CA headquarters, where flags were flying at half-mast and bagpipes highlighted a somber tone.
Jobs was known for his attention to detail, eye for design and aesthetics, and keen sense of where technology is and should be headed. Only months ago he emerged from a leave of absence to present at an Apple keynote event, and his passing comes with AAPL continuing to ascend to the dominant position in the consumer electronics market. The stock is only slightly lower in pre-market trading this morning, evidence that Jobs has left the company is a great position and able hands.
As well as a technology genius, Jobs had a deft touch with his words. Below is an excerpt from his 2005 Stanford commencement address:
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve Jobs was a man that changed many people’s lives, inspired countless others, and changed the way we all see the world. His words and actions inspire all to all be better in the short time we have on this earth, and may he rest in peace. Our heart goes out to Steve Job’s family and the Apple family in their time of mourning!
By John Darsie
*Disclosures: Scott Redler has no positions