Thursday, May 06, 2010
Fat fingers or financial fears? Something spooks the stock market!
As the trading day went past the 2:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM (PT) stocks started to track lower, spurred on in part it seems by an inexplicable crash of Proctor and Gamble stock.
With the momentum of the sudden drops increasing, the roller coaster aspect of the stock market took a decidedly downhill move, with financial analysts crowding to try and shed some light on the situation on the financial and news stations of the world.
The image of a stock index line going downwards was paired with television images of Greek rioters setting fires and battling police on the streets of Athens, all in all providing a rather strange collision of events that have spooked those who spend their day buying and selling on the world's markets.
The thought is that perhaps a mistake in a trade on Proctor and Gamble initiated the sudden surge of selling, though no confirmation has been determined yet as to what exactly happened with their stock and if it indeed was the tipping point for the days volatility.
Some thoughts on the days drama have it that perhaps a fat finger, hitting a B instead of an M, may have contributed to the sudden meltdown, or perhaps a computer glitch sent traders to the doors, though Wall Street officials were quick to try and defer that kind of thinking until any investigations into the events of the day played out.
The stock market slowly began to claw its way off the floor and managed to take back seven hundred of those lost points closing down on the day at 347 points. A sizable drop on any other day, but considering the histrionic nature of the days trading that -347 is strangely seen as rather positive all things considered.
By comparison, the Toronto Stock Exchange seemed positively peaceful suffering a slight loss on the day of 34 points.
All eyes will now turn on Asia and Europe where the next trading sessions take place and how they react to the events of the day just closed, North Americans will also keep their eye on Wall Street on Friday morning with some analysts suggesting it could be a very ugly opening bell as the markets seek to address the fall out from Thursday and nervous investors make their decisions.
High among their thoughts may be wonderment at the idea that someone with a "fat finger" could bring down the financial system in such a spectacular fashion or that Thursday may be but a premonition of the turbulence to come.
The American News and Financial networks were on full Defcon one on the event, as the numbers tumbled CNBC, Fox Business, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News.
Some of the headlines from the financial sections as the smoke from the great tumble began to clear.
Globe and Mail-- Stock Markets plunge
National Post-- Market meltdown reaction
New York Times-- Markets Plunge, Then Stage a Rebound
The Guardian-- Debt crisis: Panic on Wall Street, stonewalling in Europe
Times online UK-- Wall Street drops 1,000 points over Greek contagion fears
Telegraph UK online-- Wall Street sees biggest intraday fall amid Greece fears