Tweet sends Apple stock up 5%

Carl Icahn, billionaire investor and chairman of Icahn Enterprises. Photo: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Are you the world’s biggest technology company? Are you frustrated that no matter how many phones or tablets you sell, your stock chart still looks more like the Great Plains than Mount Everest?

Announcing to the world that you planned to flatten the next version of your mobile operating system didn’t do the trick. But you might get lucky. You might get a tweet like this:

In the space of fewer than 140 characters, billionaire investor Carl Icahn sent Apple’s stock price soaring. Less than two hours later, Apple shares had closed up by nearly 5 percent at just under $490 (still way off its 52-week peak of $705.07).

Icahn followed up with another tidbit a few minutes later:

Apple confirmed the conversationbetween Icahn and Cook, according toAllThingsD, but didn’t offer additional details.

Icahn did quietly prep the world yesterday for his big social media splash. According to an Icahn Enterprises SEC filing made yesterday: “Our Chairman, Carl C. Icahn, intends to use Twitter from time to time to communicate with the public about our company and other issues.”

Icahn Enterprises specifically citesSEC guidance from a few months ago that companies can use social media to disclose financial data. But tweeting about a private meeting with the chief executive of a publicly traded company not your own doesn’t feel like the use case the agency anticipated.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has moved markets. Still, it’s a powerful reminder of new technology’s unintended consequences. Jack Dorsey may be a fan of Apple, but this probably wasn’t what he had in mind a few years ago when he came up with a way to use text messages to keep track of his friends.