Market goes nuts - VTI down 33%, recovers 29% in a matter of a few minutes

Wild ride on the market today.  (Still ongoing.)  VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF) was down 33% at one point, and then in a matter of a few minutes recovered nearly 29%.  (Note that this was not how much the actual stocks in the ETF went down as ETFs are priced by the highest bidder; many ETFs suffered presumably from liquidity issues.  Hence, my title is a bit misleading.)  The Dow sunk nearly 1000 points, or 9.8%, and quickly shot back up 600 points.  Heck, VB (Vanguard Small Cap ETF) was down 96% at one point (to 0.1; the bid price that is, the ask was still somewhat normal so purchasing at that price wouldn't have gone through) and then quickly shot back up.   Some people made a whole lot of money today, while others lost a bundle.  

I can't even load the Yahoo! Finance webpage.  Apparently, several people are unable to access their brokerage accounts.

Get this: it appears that an order went through for 39,000 shares of VTI for around $39!  VTI is now at 57.6.  That computer made somebody a lot of money.
 
More to come....

Update 4:05 PM ET: CNBC is reporting that the crash was caused by a trading error at Citigroup.  Earlier reported simply to be a "major firm."

Update 7:30 PM ET: It appears that there was a technical glitch in a variety of stocks, including P&G.  Nasdaq and NYSE are canceling all trades that moved more than 60%.  So, any of those VB trades at ridiculously low prices are canceled; however, the VTI trade @ 39 will stand as it's within 60%.

Update 5/7/10:  It seems as if the "fat fingers" theory blamed on Citigroup was pre-mature, and there is no evidence to substantiate it.

4 comments:

  1. Now get ready for the narratives. Pundits will explain why it was so obvious that the market was overvalued and due for a serious plunge. Although last week this time few saw it. CNBC will trot out the bears! Contagion is scary.

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  2. Yep, they already have pundits on CNBC saying that two weeks ago they moved their positions to be more conservative....right. They're now reporting that the crash was caused by a trading error at a major firm. Somebody reported that an order went through with a B (for billion) instead of an M (million). Check out P&G. That's some crazy stuff.

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  3. I know what they're talking about when they say "fat finger". It's why I can't text.
    Would it have been an error if the market went their way?

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  4. It is amazing how little things can affect the market in a big way.

    ReplyDelete

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