Apparently more than a few traders had heart palpitations today. As the market closed, Google’s share price appeared to fall apart, falling to $200 from an opening price of $396. At least that’s what the Nasdaq ticker showed.
That was $62 billion in market cap that was zapped away in the last four minutes before the fiscal quarter ended and the markets closed, and it was automatically reported by Google Finance and other sites (the comments here on MarketWatch’s uncorrected article show how freaked out some people were).
And the “drop” came as the markets surged on news that the bailout was still in play and mark-to-market rules were suspended (allowing banks to stay solvent). So what happened?
“It was a data glitch, which is extremely rare” said one hedge fund guy I know. “But yeah, for a second we freaked out.” In after hours trading Google is back to normal, trading at $407.
Update: From Briefing.com (still trying to figure out if any actual trades occurred, everyone says no so far):
Google trades after 3:57 pm under investigation by Nasdaq; trades were “potentially erroneous” – Bloomberg (404.14 -39.57)
Update 2: Ok, we’re hearing that some trades DID go through at the crazy prices, and they will almost certainly be undone.
Update 3: NASDAQ has posted an official statement, and is canceling all of the erroneous trades:
Pursuant to Rule 11890(b) NASDAQ, on its own motion, has determined to cancel all trades in security Google Inc Cl – A “GOOG” at or above $425.29 and at or below $400.52 that were executed in NASDAQ between 15:57:00 and 16:02:00 ET. In addition, NASDAQ will be adjusting the NASDAQ Official Closing Cross (NOCP)and all trades executed in the cross to $400.52. This decision cannot be appealed. MarketWatch has coordinated this decision to break trades with other UTP Exchanges. NASDAQ will be canceling trades on the participant’s behalf.