Thursday Wall Street took a spectacular dive on a three things: a sell error in the US against Proctor and Gamble, The British Parliamentary Elections and The Greek Parliament approval of the 110 Billion Euro bailout and the protest by the Greeks. CNBC Reports:
The Dow ended down 347.80, or 3.2 percent, at 10,520.32, after being down as much as 998.50 earlier, the Dow’s biggest intraday drop on record. Treasurys surged.
Under current, New York Stock Exchange rules, if the market falls ten percent or more between 2:30 and 3:00 pm ET, trading is halted for 30 minutes. At its worst point, the Dow was down between 8 and 9 percent today.
The S&P 500 shed 3.2 percent, while the Nasdaq lost 3.4 percent. The CBOE volatility index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, was around 34 at the closing bell, after being above 40 earlier. The VIX ended last week around 22.
At the height of the panic, one trader, on the condition of anonymity, said he heard fixed-income desks in Europe shut down early because there was no liquidity — basically European banks are halting lending right now.
“This is similar to what took place pre-Lehman Brothers,” the trader said.
By the end of the trading day it was discovered that a mistake by a trader typed that sent the markets in a tail spin.
But in the final 15 minutes of trading it was revealed that a trader at a major firm may have mistyped a trade as billion — instead of million — which made what would’ve been a 300-point selloff more like a 900-point selloff.
The details were still being ironed out but sources suggested the firm in question was Citigroup // <!–[CDATA[// [C 4.04 -0.14 (-3.35%) ]–>// <!–[CDATA[// and that the trade may have involved Procter & Gamble // <![CDATA[// [PG 60.75 -1.41 (-2.27%) ]–>// <!–[CDATA[// stock, which was down more than $22, or 35 percent at one point.
Citigroup disagree with charge:
But Citigroup said “At this point, we have no evidence that Citi was involved in any erroneous transaction” and the head of the NYSE said “I don’t think you are looking for one bank that traded the wrong number of shares.”
If that was not enough in United Kingdom, the 2010 Parliamentary elections led to a hung Parliament on Thursday as David Cameron leader of the Tories saw the conservative won a majority seats. However, The Tories were 21 seats short of allow David Cameron to become Prime Minister. Also From CNBC:
Britain’s two main parties locked horns in a political standoff Friday after an inconclusive election with Labour’s Gordon Brown signaling he would try to form a coalition and Conservative leader David Cameron declaring the prime minister had lost his mandate to govern.
Cameron acknowledge that he need negotiate a deal to become Prime Minster, Meanwhile Gordon Brown is also working to keep his seat as the PM by making a deal:
Speaking earlier in Scotland, Brown vowed to “play my part in Britain having a strong, stable” government the clearest sign yet that he would try to cling to power and seek an alliance with the third-place Liberal Democrats.
He also pledged action on election reform a key demand of his would-be partners.
Also on Thursday, Government of Greece approve the Bailout of 110 Billion Euros. The Funds provided by European Union, and International Monetary Fund. From the Wall Street Journal:
The markets were already on edge before the midafternoon collapse as traders watched televised scenes of rioting in Athens following the Greek government’s approval of its portion of the European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout. The euro had tumbled to a new 14-month low and credit markets were showing signs of strain in Europe and the U.S.
Throughout the day, markets around the globe posted big declines as investors reacted with disappointment to the failure of the European Central Bank to signal any heightened concern about the spiraling Greek debt crisis.
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Wall Street Journal