One emailer is an oddity, two a coincidence, three emails plus a respected tech site means this is a full blown trend. Thus, I am compelled to address this:
There seems to be a bit of paranoia circulating amongst the
intelligentsiaignoramia that the mere fact that Apple’s stock closed at precisely $500 on Friday was proof positive of a grand conspiracy to manipulate markets.
The odds were so strongly against this exact close occurring randomly, the argument goes, that something nefarious had to be afoot.
Note that both options and stocks trade via continuous auction process. This sometimes results in prices being pinned to a strike price (see chart below). There was an enormous amount of open interest n Apple Options, and $500 is a big round psychological number. In this case, the $500 on the nose was the lucky winner.
Barry Ritholtz puts the Apple stock conspiracy theory to rest.