Computerized ‘Typo’ Causes Largest Stock Market Plunge Ever

This is really insane, really does make it seems like these traders are just playing with Monopoly money. If only actual working people’s pensions and savings were not tied to this grand casino, we could laugh it off. See the line in bold print below, it’s priceless. Tim Paradis writes on the AP via HuffPo:
Stock Market The Ride

A computerized selloff possibly caused by a simple typographical error triggered one of the most turbulent days in Wall Street history Thursday and sent the Dow Jones industrials to a loss of almost 1,000 points, nearly a tenth of their value, in less than half an hour. It was the biggest drop ever during a trading day.

No one was sure what happened, other than automated orders were activated by erroneous trades. One possibilility being investigated was that a trader accidentally placed an order to sell $16 billion, instead of $16 million, worth of futures, and that was enough to trigger sell orders across the market.

The Dow recovered two-thirds of the loss before the closing bell, but that was still the biggest point loss since February of last year. The lightning-fast plummet temporarily knocked normally stable stocks such as Procter & Gamble to a tiny fraction of their former value and sent chills down investors’ spines.

“Today … caused me to fall out of my chair at one point. It felt like we lost control,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago.

Read More: AP via HuffPo

7 Comments on "Computerized ‘Typo’ Causes Largest Stock Market Plunge Ever"

  1. E.B. Wolf | May 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |

    At this point in the game, I can't have any more sympathy for people who get wiped out by the stock market.
    If a used car lot rips you off multiple times, you stop doing business with them.
    Any working stiff stupid enough to put their money into such an obviously rigged game deserves what they get.

  2. E.B. Wolf | May 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm |

    At this point in the game, I can't have any more sympathy for people who get wiped out by the stock market.
    If a used car lot rips you off multiple times, you stop doing business with them.
    Any working stiff stupid enough to put their money into such an obviously rigged game deserves what they get.

  3. discordianstooge | May 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm |

    Nice headline. The typo is one theory that's possible, and your headline sells it as the only cause.

    Well done.

  4. tonyviner | May 8, 2010 at 12:22 am |

    Treachery is afoot.

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