WHOOPS: A Fat Finger Mistake Sent A Stock Shooting Up Over $US300 In Less Than A Second This Morning

This morning Nanex, a Chicago-based market research firm, pointed out that Kemper Corporation’s stock surged $US318.89 at 9:36:44 a.m., and for a brief moment, it added $US18 billion to the company’s market capitalisation.

Check out the chart below:

Naturally, this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day, so we decided to look into it.

According to a source close to the situation, the stock trades on the NYSE, but these particular trades were executed on the NASDAQ because the stock hadn’t opened on the NYSE yet. It seems like someone submitted the wrong number and that’s why this all went down.

So no, this was not a buggy high frequency trading algorithm, it was an infamous “fat finger” mistake.

The trades were later canceled (labelled “busted” trades) by NYSE:

11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|43160|95|39.01000|300|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|43161|66|39.01000|300|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|43162|95|39.01000|200|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455079|66|39.01000|200|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|43163|95|45.45000|1900|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455082|66|45.45000|1900|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|43164|95|357.90000|100|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455085|66|357.90000|100|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455088|66|357.90000|3|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455090|66|357.90000|3|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455092|66|357.90000|3|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455094|66|357.90000|6|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455096|66|357.90000|2|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455098|66|357.90000|4|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455102|66|357.90000|2|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455105|66|357.90000|1|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455111|66|357.90000|3|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455118|66|357.90000|3|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455123|66|357.90000|1|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455126|66|357.90000|2|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455130|66|357.90000|3|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|43776|95|357.90000|400|||0|||
11:22:49|eKMPR|NYSE|NQEX|Cancel;Busted;|11:22:49|455133|66|357.90000|400|||0|||

But if you check out the stock’s moving day range, it still reads from $US34.80 – $US357.90.

Wild stuff — be careful out there, and watch your decimals.

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