“Activist investor Carl Icahn on Monday said there was a chance the stock market could suffer a big decline, saying valuations are rich and earnings at many companies are fueled more by low borrowing costs than management’s efforts to boost results,” Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Jennifer Ablan report for Reuters. “Unnerved by Icahn’s prognosis, investors pushed stocks lower. The S&P 500, which was trading near unchanged before Icahn spoke, closed down 0.4 percent. ‘I am very cautious on equities today. This market could easily have a big drop,’ Icahn said.”

“He said share buybacks are driving results, not profitability,” Herbst-Bayliss and Ablan report. “He also hinted at his ongoing plan for Apple Inc, the most valuable U.S. company by market value, saying he does not want to fight with management at the iPhone giant but has no plans to walk away from his investment. Shares of Apple closed down 1.2 percent at $518.92; they were trading at $523.11 before Icahn’s remarks. Icahn said he still thinks Apple’s stock price is undervalued and said the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, feels the same way.”

Herbst-Bayliss and Ablan report, “Icahn, who runs Icahn Enterprises, a diversified holding company, is urging Apple to buy back $150 billion worth of shares. The company has not committed to that. Icahn owns approximately 0.4 percent of Apple’s outstanding shares, according to Thomson Reuters data. Icahn said that he and Cook are friendly, but he still spoke critically. ‘Apple is not a bank and it should not be run like a bank because investors did not invest in a bank,” he said. “Apple has all this money, they should be using it.’ …Icahn said he had looked at investing in Microsoft but did not, declining to give a reason.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because he likes making money, not blowing it on failure?

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