Apple Execs Race to Sell Off Stocks with Fiscal Cliff Looming; Market Responds

by Nick Trenchard | December 14, 2012

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With the fiscal cliff looming, Apple executives hurried to sell their stocks off in bunches this week in order to sidestep major government tax hikes. The fallout from the Apple’s stock purge has dragged down the stock market and concerned many of its investors.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday, Apple Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue sold off a staggering chunk of his AAPL common stock, which accrued to more than $8.5 million. One week prior, the computer giant’s Senior VP of Technologies Bob Mansfield liquidated his Apple assets to the tune of nearly $20.4 million, according to the same filing. Both will be receiving more restricted stock units in the summer months, as per an agreement.

The selloff is, by no means, an isolated incident. CNBC reported that companies across the nation are rushing to beat the year-end fiscal cliff deadline, including the Silicon Valley-based Oracle, because after the deadline hits, capital gains could increase from 15 percent to as much as 43.4 percent for the highest tax bracket — as proposed by President Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, the launch of the iPhone 5 in Beijing failed to reach its sales expectations and has added to the drop in the stock market. On Friday, the market lost $19.90 to close at a month-low $509.79. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also took a hit, falling 5.87 points to close at 1,413.58 while the Nasdaq sank more than 20 points to end the day at 2,971.33.

“We’re faced with uncertainty … and that’s going to continue now into January. It basically puts everybody on hold and (you) just have the markets kind of thrash around,” said Larry Peruzzi, senior equity trader at Cabrera Capital Markets in Boston, Massachusetts.

The president, US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and other senior white house officials gathered in Washington to discuss the imminent threat of the fiscal cliff and how they could avoid the tax hikes that are set to kick in during the first month  of 2013.

While the fiscal cliff has left entrepreneurs and executive relatively concerned over the stock market’s future, investors have remained confident over the likelihood that Washington will strike a deal soon in order to tapper the looming threat of skyrocketing capital gains tax rates.

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