Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock took a huge dive today dropping over 9% before trading was suspended. A massive surge of volatility in the market caused the stock’s trading to be halted though trading was resumed just minutes later. The halt took place between 10:57 and 11:02 this morning. The price drop hit the single stock circuit breaker. The news was released amid a torrent of information pointing to the causes of the drop. The trade has slightly shaken traders as the stock dropped 50 points in seconds.
The sale appears to have been a once off fat-finger trade. CNBC announced that Nasdaq was cancelling the trades which goes a long way to suggesting it was in fact completely mistaken. The company’s stock has completely rebounded and is now back just below $600, about 0.6% down on previous day’s trading. Information gathered suggests that the trades were made through the BATS global trading system and came in at much lower prices than the stock had previously been trading at. There were only a couple of hundred of the shares traded at these low levels but it is unclear where the move came from.
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BATS was having its own troubles this morning and initial explanation had suggested it was a problem with their system. The site this morning had a message that read the site was actively investigating an issue. It said the issues stemmed from symbols ranging from A to BF. The move is now thought to represent an investigation into the trade rather than having caused it, a symptom, not a cause. The cancellation of the trade and Apple’s quick rebound mean this was entirely a mistake rather than a real overvaluation of Apple.
Apple’s stock has being rising at a rapid pace for some time now. The company hit $600 last week for the first time, just a month after the stock broke the $500 barrier. The company continues its reign as the most valuable company on the market and until today showed no sign of stopping. The company’s iPad sales from its release last week have impressed analysts and the company is showing solid increases in its smart phone sales. The company outstripped RIM’s Blackberry in Canadian smartphone sales last month with its iPhone. Today’s erroneous trade appears, assuming it was an aberration, will have little effect on the companies forward march.