What the Heck Just Happened?

Join Fool.com editors Eric Bleeker, Ilan Moscovitz, and Jim Mueller in a live chat about today's crazy market. Just scroll down to post a question.

And this is why we at The Motley Fool believe in focusing on the long term. This afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 1,000 points -- the single worst intraday loss in its history -- before quickly climbing back up 600 points in one 20-minute span.

For the day, the Dow finished off "just" 3.2%.

The initial thought (aided by CNBC's coverage of riotous protestors clashing with police) was debt-plagued Greece, which has had the market petrified. But later reports suggest something far more ridiculous -- a trading error. Blue-chip stalwart Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , for instance, fell from about $60 a share to around $40 a share in a matter of minutes, only to rocket back up and finish back around $60. The Wall Street Journal reported that Accenture (NYSE: ACN  ) dropped to $0.01 a share!

Now, Greece surely has its problems and contributed to some selling today. But today is a clear picture of why being a long-term, business-focused investor is so wise -- because the daily machinations of the market often have little to do with the value of a business.

Fool.com editors Eric Bleeker, Ilan Moscovitz, and Jim Mueller are hosting a live chat until 5:30 p.m. ET to talk about today's crazy market. Commiserate by posting a comment below:

P&G is an Inside Value and Income Investor recommendation, as well as a Fool holding. Accenture is an Inside Value pick, too. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 4:43 PM, pkhann1 wrote:

    What happened seems to be less pale than what we can expect from tomorrow? Is tomorrow on the coming week going to be much worse?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 4:49 PM, pkhann1 wrote:

    Trading Error at Major Firm Blamed For Selloff

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/36999239

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 4:50 PM, mirecek78 wrote:

    Yup. Been there... ...moves like this one today were exactly the reason why I left the rough waters of forex and joined the ranks of stock investors in March 2009. It seemed so peaceful to me. ...but where am I supposed to hide now, huh? ...too...much...pressure... LOL. But seriously - I have only seen moves like this one trading USD/JPY, when some asian groups played their games in the middle of the night. I think today can scare a lot of people from ever throwing any money at the stock market, because the move was just not standard at all, even considering all the bad news from the EU. ...but still - Simos Fululis (my high school friend), I officially hate you now, since you are the only Greek I know. I am sorry, buddy - JK.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:11 PM, wjcost wrote:

    This is just one more incident showing how programmed trading is endangering the market while using sophisticated computer systems to gain a dishonest edge and rip off us little guys. I would not doubt that these greedy masters of the universe are trying to implement computerized pumping and dumping, and front running, by using fourier transforms and wavelets to figure out the frequency response of stocks to prograqmmed trading forcing functions. Every profit they make is a rip-off of everyone else. Every error they make damages the market. ENOUGH!

    We need a TRANSACTION TAX on all stock sales that would be small enough to be virtually imperceptible to the little guy while making the programmed traders think twice about jumping in and out of large positions. And, it could help pay for universal health insurance!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:26 PM, mtf00l wrote:

    Has anyone noticed that all three indexes have extremely similar chart lines?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:27 PM, aaplover wrote:

    WTF --- Error Scare?!. Repeat WTF

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:31 PM, joedawson79 wrote:

    So how can I as an average investor profit from today's event? Is now a good time to pull what's left of my cash off the bench and where should I put it to maximize my returns?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:36 PM, PositiveMojo wrote:

    There were signs before today. Adobe was on a downward trend with the price pushing lower and lower since Apr 26th. Activision has been taken to the woodshed since Apr 13th. I could say the same thing for Cisco, Boeing and a bunch of others. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN SUDDENLY!

    Only a few companies remained strong until the end such as Dolby and Netflix.

    I went to an all cash position starting earlier this week and right now I only own Gold and Titanium since they remain strong.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:38 PM, 4wheelfool wrote:

    So it is true! I decided long ago not to watch the market every minute, but if only I was there watching today. Could have bought EBIX at $0.75, while it closed at $15 and change. I'm contemplating buy stop limit orders on a few stocks at 50% below their current price, just in case. :-)

    4wheel.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:39 PM, foolhardy7 wrote:

    But I sure wish I'd been watching when Accenture was at 4 cents. A 100 bagger in one hour; a new Fool record.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:41 PM, plange01 wrote:

    what happened today is the reality that the US is 16 months into a depression .all the ridiculous talk of a recovery,job growth better real estate sales and prices just got thrown in the garbage and the lid slammed on!the begining of a major collapse in the US has started...

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:42 PM, Big50Shooter wrote:

    Do you all really beleieve that this was simply just a "typographical error" that caused the dip?

    Personally, I don't buy it.. I think this is a warning tremor BEFORE the big quake.... Might be tomorrow, might be next week, might be in a month, but that correction that many (and ME) have been expecting IS coming......... Today's example shows just how FAST it will happen too... The only ones to get out alive will be the Goldman Sachs of the world...

    I also agree with wjcost above... Goldman basically ADMITTED that they could control/alter the market when their proprietary trading software was stolen last winter... This is a perfect example of why their statement is 100% TRUE!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:44 PM, socalmont wrote:

    Traded the VIX today and made over 100% return on options trading.

    You can make money when the market goes down.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:44 PM, goalie37 wrote:

    Fascinating. Today was about being a student of the markets more than a market participant.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:45 PM, PositiveMojo wrote:

    @joedawson79

    If I were you I would wait until tomorrow afternoon before I make any decision. You've already taken 80% of your hit. Then analyze each stock individually before making a decision. Don't flush them all because there are a few that remain strong.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:47 PM, Pandorabelle wrote:

    I don't doubt that a correction...or at least a period of exhalation is due, but how could one trading error cause so much destruction?

    Re: Trading Error at Major Firm Blamed For Selloff

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/36999239

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:48 PM, blesto wrote:

    Pay attention people!

    What is that saying...

    "Be fearful when others are greedy and

    greedy when others are fearful."

    I'm holding on for the ride and ready to plunk some more change down on my favorite investments.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:49 PM, WhidbeyIsland wrote:

    This is the Second Great Depression

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:50 PM, PositiveMojo wrote:

    Listen to @blesto and watch for the "v" for form. Then go for it!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:50 PM, mmarler3 wrote:

    And I could have added to my EXC account when it went to 0.00. I could have bought the whole company! Wow!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:53 PM, gregmrobb wrote:

    The frequency of this type of market (last weeks) will be ever increasing, now that anyone can trade online with a few emotional clicks.

    I've "made" a paper 100K this year buying good companies... everyone, please calm your neighbors...cookies and milk, help them wash their car, plant the tomatoes, anything :|

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:53 PM, DMcLloyd wrote:

    I don't believe in errors, such errors in particular.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 5:56 PM, DDHv wrote:

    We place a stop loss right after buying, updating it Saturdays. We also look for companies likely to survive. When buying, we use limits with a very good margin of safety. Three sells triggered today, and three yesterday, but no losses. As soon as the discount brokerage clears the cash, we will be checking the watchlist for the current best choices, and setting up one or more limit buys - with a strong safety margin!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:13 PM, goalie37 wrote:

    @gregmrobb - great great advice.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:16 PM, thidmark wrote:

    3M had a similar drop to P&G. No wonder the Dow fell 700 points that fast.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:20 PM, beacon6 wrote:

    This is reminiscent of the great drop in 1987 when the Dow dropped over 400 in one day. The difference is - it was around 2200 before the drop.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:20 PM, WyattJunker wrote:

    Trailing stops will mess you up also. You could get head faked out of future up movement, thinking you're wise, you've become a fool.

    There was nothing the average investor could do anyway. I wanted to buy more MLPs when they got knocked down 10 points, but was locked out of all my brokerage accounts on both limit orders and market orders. None of them 'got in'.

    I wish I could have gotten some procter at 40 and accenture a penny stock? Unreal.

    I'm not gonna panic. I don't need any of this money until 40 years from now. Until then I have lots of PMs for the catastrophe fund and enough other necessities to wait it out as the Greek riots erupt over here in hope-n-change-land.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:26 PM, Rerednaw67 wrote:

    My purely speculativeshot in the dark is that today was a major test. A few more Accenture's and you could be talking about billions. Backdoor or murky trading program? Possibly...

    You had to admit today was very effective if making a quick fortune at the expense of others are your goals. Naah that couldn't be it...our system doesn't have corrupt or greedy entities as serious market movers. It's not like we have major investment banks and government enforcement who by their own admission are clueless when...oops. :)

    Kudos though if you bought Accenture at $.01 today and then sold at the market close.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:28 PM, wrongnumber wrote:

    I don't know about you but my portfolio is still up for the year. I even hit on a couple of limit orders that I had no dream would execute. By and large, the prices still are not that great. Maybe the market will go down some more and Mr. Market will offer us some bargains.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:31 PM, ragedmaximus wrote:

    ALL TRADES 2.40-3pm NULL AND VOID NASDAQ

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:36 PM, starbuc wrote:

    The Parroting Traditional Media will not address the true cause of the "sell-off" and "rebound" of today

    Market forces contributed to the "sell-off"

    The manipulative Broker Houses and "bailed -out" Financial Banks stepped up with previously agreed to free FOMC Bernake money & free U.S. Secretary of Treasury Guitner money to generate a "recovery" during the day

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:38 PM, PALH wrote:

    I got lucky today. The previous two drops were making me nervous along with the Greece situation, so late last night I picked out about nine stocks in which I had profits of 20% or more and placed stop-limit sell orders on enough shares to equate roughly to the profits. That's a sort of half-assed plan I guess, but it was something. I didn't know about the plummet today and just doing a portfolio check to see if any of the stops had hit I was shocked to see that all but one had filled! So at least for the day I sealed off some profits.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:48 PM, jc09058 wrote:

    Software glitch? Maybe and it's not that hasn't happened before. Panic? Some of that rightfully belongs there. Software attack? Possible when you consider the recent attempt into the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

    While there is reason to be concerned about what is happening in Greece, the EU has a vested interest in bringing stability back not only in Greece but though out the EU itself. They will do everything they can to keep the EU from collapsing because there is still hope there. A weather eye for sure on the EU.

    Just like I'm keeping a weather eye on the US as well. It's debt load is less than optimal and there are the prospects of further surprises to come when you take into account things like the Medicare and Social Security issues coming home to roost in the near future. I just hope that everyone here remember to chat with their Senators and Congressman concerning our issues here and now. Because I will but I could use a little more help from others.

    Greece is just showing us the way to not do it but if changes aren't made then consider what will happen here when that day arrives without any changes. Doom and Gloom, you say? No, forewarned is forearmed, I say.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:51 PM, MFMerlin wrote:

    Wait for prices to get better? Accenture at .01 and P&G at $40.??? What prices would you need for the wait to be over?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:51 PM, Babble100 wrote:

    All the theories posted here are totally wrong.

    I caused this crash. I bought several stocks the last two days. I don't do that often, but every time I do, it ends up being at the peak of the market. A crash immediately follows.

    Sorry everybody.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 6:58 PM, zedicus10 wrote:

    I got nailed and really screwed today, i am so upset about all of this....i lost a shitload of money today because of this screw up. what was i supposed to do when i saw everything dropping like a bomb, 3%, 4%, 6%, 8%....*&%^......i just got faster and faster and i paniced and sold!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:03 PM, Rowants wrote:

    Babble100,nice to know I'm in good company. I bought Energizer not too long ago at 65 just to watch it go to 55. Got activision blizzard too, going sideways. And I dont even want to discuss fortune brands. (I bought at 37 and 30, paniced and sold at 20, now its 40plus.) I'm making a small fortune, by starting with a big one......

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:03 PM, mtf00l wrote:

    @Babble100

    I have the same issue!! Please let us know what you'll be buying in the future so we may short it! ;-)

    @jc09058

    I'd love to help however, my net worth isn't great enough to influence a City Councilman much less a Senator or a Congressman.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:05 PM, artisticfish wrote:

    There have been clear indications that this correction was coming for weeks now, closing on multiple days with high volume, along with other inidicators. If this was a surprise to you, for that I am deeply sorry, and I also encourage you to educate yourself as to how to interpret a market top and a market bottom. There are plenty of ways to not only protect your investments from the downside, but also profit from it. It's not rocket science and you don't need a finance degree from Harvard either. Never buy and hold. That's the worst investing advice that I can imagine. And don't use financial advisors to run your money. Get educated. It's worth the time and effort.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:11 PM, fightingfinn wrote:

    I guess I really don't understand how this is even remotely possible. If I am understanding the story correctly, instead of a block of several million shares of PG being sold, a "key stroke error" resulted in several billion shares being sold. There are not even that many shares issued of the company, so I have to ask HOW??? I've heard of naked short selling, but how would an order to sell a number of shares greater than the number of shares outstanding even be executed? If someone understands this, please explain how it can happen without tripping some sort of safeguard.

    This next statement is complete theory and not based in any actual fact, but, if it is next to impossible to sell more shares of a company, IN ONE SELL ORDER, than actually exist in the company, is it not more likely that this is some sort of cover story? I would find the idea that this was a cyber attack much more plausible than the explanation given. The idea that our stock market would be so vulnerable to an attack that we would have a nearly 1000 point drop in the DOW would so rattle the publics trust in the market that I have to believe that it would be peferrential to give some rediculous story about a key stroke error rather than acknowledge that the market fell victim to an attack even if it was discovered and corrected quickly.

    As I mentioned earlier this is just a crazy conspiracy theory that has no basis in fact, but I would love for some of you with more knowledge about the fail safes of the market to please comment and give me the facts about how this is rediculous and how a keystroke error is possible.

    Thanks for any information and enlightenment you can share.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:12 PM, goalie37 wrote:

    @Babble100 LMAO!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:25 PM, plange01 wrote:

    there is no long term anymore. you either learn how to trade or find a new way to invest your money.if you buy and hold then you will make more at a bank with a regular savings account.....

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:33 PM, ragedmaximus wrote:

    HELLO TURN ON CNBC

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 7:58 PM, mgrondin wrote:

    I was watching the reuter website during the "flash crash". There were interesting headlines that were put on and just vanished in minutes :

    NYSE Stock exchange exclude technical error

    CIT expect recession in 2010.

    And very conveniently at market close minus 20 minutes you get this big news about a technical glitch ? Seriously ? Thats a very convenient way to stop the market from closing 8% down...

    The euro zone is in big trouble. The US even more. This has been coming for a while now. There is no recovery yet. Look up John Williams on the internet. He is an economist who has been reevaluating and recalculated a lot of economic indicators. The real unemployment rate is around 20% (Thanks to Clinton the government doesn't take into account workers who are looking for work for more than a year and they are excluded from the numbers).

    I went in Vegas in February. The cab driver there had made handwritten cards saying : Call me anywhere anytime I will come and pick you up.

    I bought PUTs on the SPY a few weeks ago.

    We have a black swan in progress.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 8:17 PM, JonathanWolter wrote:

    You trade stocks due to how a cabbie in Vegas gets business? That's solid.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 8:19 PM, mgrondin wrote:

    Ha. And Tomorrow morning the media will tell us we are Thursday and that we are all wrong. They will just erase this Thursday and people may well believe them... After all is it really Friday if all the Media tells you its Thursday ?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 8:25 PM, ds10 wrote:

    For those who are overwhelmed by jargon such as was posted earlier:

    Fourier Transforms and Forcing Functions are analytical techniques from LINEAR system theory (definition: "the response to the sum of the inputs is equal to the sum of the individual responses"---the inputs being the buy and sell orders---and there is no evidence that the market is linear; it is far more stochastic in performance). Nor are these techniques valid for prediction of non-linear systems.

    So should you feel rattled by these terms applied to the market, just ignore them---it is doubtful if the poster understands them.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 8:32 PM, ColoradoSkiGuyRJ wrote:

    I agree with many posters above. A computer error? Are you kidding me? However there is something more frightening here, that is not being discussed. What is more frightening than anything here... The NASDAQ and NYSE have not confirmed a glitch. Yes they are going to rescind trades but that doesn't mean that any glitch caused the sudden drop in value. They are deeming these trades as "clearly erroneous" but no data has come out to show that is in fact the case. As a matter of fact, no one seems to have found a glitch. If computer trading systems sparked the sell off, well guess what... that's not a glitch, that is how the market operates (whether for good or bad). Not only that but did you hear the traders on the floor, "The buyers disappeared. We were selling into an abyss." That doesn't sound like a glitch to me. That sonds like an "Oh crap, moment" and buyers evaporating. This could very well be the calm before the most wicked sell off you will ever see in your life. I closed all my positions early tuesday morning... thank goodness. I agree with the poster who suggested this is a tremor before a violent quake. But you know what that means... there will be some great buying opportunities once the violent quake is over.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 8:32 PM, BlackshearCaptL wrote:

    I was under the impression that it was futures contracts regarding the index that were sold.

    Either that or it was a dollar amount of 16mm PG - which typo'd into 16bln.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 8:38 PM, ragedmaximus wrote:

    so why dont we start calling the stock market dominos or house of cards or roulette and if tomm crashes can you tell me when the quake is over nostradams.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 8:42 PM, stopitnow wrote:

    24/7, program trading and commidity trading with out an equity interest need elimination and/or significant changes. A huge drop in PG without reason in minutes is not rational. Surely trades should be reversed or stopped. We need to stop gambling on wall street and let gamblers go to a casino or Vegas. Somehow long-term investors need validation and pure gambling in the stock market should be removed to another venue! How can pension fund managers, etc. maintain sound investment appraoches with current market madness and media intimidation.

    Stopitnow!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:06 PM, DMcLloyd wrote:

    "Nasdaq issued a statement two hours after the market closed saying it was canceling trades that were executed between 2:40 p.m. and 3 p.m. that it called clearly erroneous. It did not, however, mention a cause of the plunge.

    The NYSE also said it would cancel some trades on its electronic platform."

    And they call it a free market.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:12 PM, OPTIONNUT wrote:

    My thoughts are this was a market looking for one more excuse to correct and these factors hit the dumping ground today. I wish to have made a move out two weeks ago!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:13 PM, valari25 wrote:

    Today is meaningless. They are reversing all the trades that shouldn't have happened, like Accenture at .01 or EXC at .01.

    The head of NYSE explained what happened shortly after it happened and why it happened.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:21 PM, ManchurianAnthro wrote:

    Yes! According to the just-released list of trades to be broken by SEC edict, my aquisitions will stand. Went long in CNI, LYG, DSX, DOV, TEVA, ABT and LZ at the depth of the selloff today. If it drops again, I hope to get more long-term value stocks.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:27 PM, ragedmaximus wrote:

    I just figured it all out congress and goldmens sax shorted the market and the govt bought all the cheap shares and resold when it went back up to give to greece as the easiest way to screw the usa consumer without noticing and now everyones happy except usa stock holders who get fed again!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:29 PM, mtf00l wrote:

    ...and it happened to all three exchanges at the same time?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:31 PM, daveandrae wrote:

    The dow jones industrial average going down 1000 points in a single day only means one thing, and one thing only. That it is also capable of going UP 1000 points on any given day.

    Don't take my word for it, go back 81 years to 1929. The index was trading well into the 300's before the crash. Today, a 300 point swing is not only common, but has happened hundreds of times over the last three DECADES!

    Thus, don't wish away the volatility of the stock market. Because you are, whether you realize it or not, wishing away the return.

    Thomas Edmonds.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:37 PM, ThomasW1974 wrote:

    I just set my trailing sell for Citi. I think it is going to get hit hard tomorrow. Sell at 4.00 and buy back in at around 3:15ish. Normally I don't spend the day watching the market....tomorrow will be different.

    On another note, go ATVI. very nice after hours profit report. Buy Buy Buy. It might be the only thing in my portfolio that goes up tomorrow!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:39 PM, ThomasW1974 wrote:

    On another note...why is this not the lead story on every news broadcast? Not even a blip about it on CNN.com. Conspiracy?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:42 PM, ragedmaximus wrote:

    cover up ,jesse ventura!

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:42 PM, DMcLloyd wrote:

    Why is this not the lead story on every news? Because some fat cats sold a 40 dollar stock at one cent and they want it back.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:43 PM, mgrondin wrote:

    The U.S. President will address the Nation tomorrow on the employment numbers to be release...

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:47 PM, torchmaster wrote:

    Lots of doom and gloom. I'm still up 40% because I bought in to the 09 crash. I was buying today into good companies like CMI, RAX, and ABT. Buy Low, Sell High, Don't Panic. Ignore the market, It's about the companies

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:51 PM, rmhjah wrote:

    If you are an investor as opposed to a speculator automated trading and such is really not a big deal. Never forget that stocks represent actual companies not just a ticker symbol to make a quick buck. All that really happened today is some stocks just became a bit more affordable.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 9:53 PM, MoneyWorksforMe wrote:

    So what are peoples opinions on what the market does tomorrow? The unemployment report is due out tomorrow, which should be a huge catalyst in either direction. I'm not particularly worried about Greece --maybe I should be---I think they get there bail out and that situation clears up...If Greece gets their bail out and the unemployment report is better than expectations, we may see large, broad gains...

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 10:01 PM, Notations wrote:

    I believe there will be a lot of indignant huffing and puffing for better regulation, a senate committee will likely be called, the senators with the best hair will get self-righteously "tough" on a few people and there may be a "give you a good talking to" non binding decision. Non-binding decisions are like eating Twinkies. They taste good for the moment but have precious little nutritional value.

    In essence, we taxpayers will spend a lot to investigate this outrage — to the point of analysis paralysis.

    We (the common investors) will get a big "neener neener."

    After a few up days, business will go on as usual.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 10:13 PM, born2fool56 wrote:

    i think something is not right here. last night one of my stocks showed dropping some 6% and closing at 7.06. no chart showed this. all the charts showed a closing of 7.61. one day, 5 day - i couldn't find anything to validate this #. the #'s don't make any sense. very strange...

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 10:16 PM, rsambor wrote:

    My guess is that EU-related sovereign wealth funds run by troubled countries are calling their positions to cover their governments' own security(s) issues redemptions .... since default would cause (Greece ? Portugal ? ..... Government Securites ) Moody ratings downgrades.

    I'm curious to know how much these EU-related sovereign wealth funds .... run by troubled countries .... have in "safe haven instruments" invested in the U.S. stock markets ?

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 10:27 PM, allwayssummer wrote:

    I do buy for the long term but occasionally make quick trades and today was the perfect day to buy buy buy for the quick money making traid. Remember, when every one is panicking its time to buy.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 10:42 PM, ManchurianAnthro wrote:

    NYSE CEO explains selloff(6:02)5:46pm

    NYSE Euronext CEO, Duncan L. Niederauer, says his echange slowed trades of stocks including 3M, Accenture and P&G during the 998 point drop.

    http://money.cnn.com/video/markets/2010/05/06/mkts_nyse_ceo....

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 11:01 PM, ManchurianAnthro wrote:

    NYSE CEO explains selloff(6:02)5:46pm

    NYSE Euronext CEO, Duncan L. Niederauer, says his echange slowed trades of stocks including 3M, Accenture and P&G during the 998 point drop.

    http://money.cnn.com/video/markets/2010/05/06/mkts_nyse_ceo....

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 11:20 PM, dsg2003gt wrote:

    I tried to buy into ford when it hit $10 and change, but my order was delayed for about 20 minutes. Of course it bought it at 11.60...luckily it still went up from there and I made a bit, but I could have made much much more.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2010, at 11:41 PM, goalie37 wrote:

    11:30 PM Eastern

    Yen/USD - 92.33

    USD/EUR - 1.269

    Nikkei - down 2.95%

    Aus ASX - down 1.06%

    Shanghai - down 0.5%

    Korea - down 2.2%

    India futures - down 1.3%

    Hong Kong - down 0.8%

    Gold - down 0.7%

    Oil - up 0.4%

    Really??? That's it??? Less than 12 hours ago, the Dow was down 998 points. Does this look like what the world markets should look like less than 12 hours from that?

    The global system should be in complete shut down. It isn't. In fact, since hitting the 10000 mark on the Dow this afternoon, the world economy has done nothing but repair itself. This is not a relief rally. This is a system that did not fail.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 12:01 AM, starpark88 wrote:

    Lets look at the facts.

    1) The DOW, S&P, and NASDAQ all have the same trading pattern for the day

    2) Gold has the exact opposite trading pattern.

    3) This all happened within a few minutes. A perfect V was formed.

    For the first half of the V, the drop, it looks to me like a bunch of quants or high frequency trading programs somehow decided it was good to sell. The quick recovery tells me that once a threshold was reached, these programs decided to buy.

    There is no possible way today was decided by human action. The trading patterns across all indices are too perfectly matched. If humans were the reason, there'd be plenty of deviation. Machines can explain the perfect match.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 12:20 AM, ThomasW1974 wrote:

    As someone else mentioned...it's clearly Skynet.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 12:29 AM, MrsHudson wrote:

    I had a Iimit order, not expecting it to be filled, and voila, today I got lucky. I'm too tired to think straight for tonight, but I might just put in a couple of unlikely orders of my favorites, in case lightning strikes again.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 12:51 AM, stan8331 wrote:

    This sounds like another Wall Street bailout to me. The banks get rich off computer trading so long as it works, and if it happens to miserably crash and burn, well all the trades just get thrown out.

    The way for individual investors to profit is not to take the sucker bet of trying to beat GS at its own day-trading game. It's to pick up additional shares of companies we already own or want to own for the long-term, at panic-driven prices.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 1:18 AM, simonkathrein wrote:

    I think this 'crash', regardless of the actual cause may be the trigger Harry Dent talks about in his latest update from last month. If you want to see the video just go here

    http://stockcapitalist.com/harry-dent-march-2010-video-marke...

    The market started to sell off on monday, so everyone was already in profit taking mode. Yes Greece added to the worry, but let's face it... if Greece had happened in an environment where people weren't already worried about a continued recession... nothing would have happened to the market.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 1:37 AM, SWEAT7 wrote:

    I pulled everything out this morning on the gut feeling Greece was going to implode. It did and then all hell broke loose. If Mr fat fingers actually pressed a button one too many times, how could it not be rescended the minute he recognized it? Frenzy feeding? Was it a falling knife nobody could catch up to and it they did not have the moxy to stop?

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 1:44 AM, kekey11 wrote:

    ALL YALL (THAT'S RIGHT I SAID YALL) ARE WRONG! TODAY ON CAPITOL HILL THEY WERE VOTING ON WALL STREET REFORM...

    IN THE SAME DAY WE GET THE BIGGEST MOVEMENT IN HISTORY...

    WALL STREET REMINDED US (NO PUN INTENDED) WHO'S REALLY IN CONTROL IN AMERICA!

    THE BIG STORY SHOULD BE WHO VOTED AGAINST THE BILL BUT INSTEAD WE GET LOOK OVER THERE MOMENT! SAD, SAD, SAD DAY INDEED!

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 2:44 AM, Akwari wrote:

    I watched this happen today helplessly on my Blackberry, I was stuck on a job and couldn't get to a computer not not because I was worried and wanted to sell, because I was pissed I couldn't buy.

    I kept telling myself not to panic. I own solid stocks and had a gut feeling they would recover although I wasn't expecting them to do so in an hour.

    In a way I'm glad I wasn't in a place where I could have dumped them, that would have been a huge emotionally driven mistake.

    Either way it made for a very exciting day.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 3:16 AM, chaz572 wrote:

    Re: poll at the end of the chat....

    Is your name not Eric? That's going to cause a little confusion...

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 4:10 AM, 8Lives wrote:

    Get ready to DOUBLE-DOWN mudda faddas...on your most value-based securities.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 6:35 AM, daveandrae wrote:

    Lesson of the day-

    Show me an investment that has a sell-stop underneath the purchase price, and I'll show you an investor that is guaranteed to lose money.

    Limit orders are a joke. They should be outlawed. No reasonably intelligent human being that is truly LONG the market uses this garbage.

    Thomas Edmonds

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 6:40 AM, ragedmaximus wrote:

    I want everyone to know I just put a 20k gtc limit order on acn at .05 pps DO you think I'll hit today?

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 10:53 AM, zedicus10 wrote:

    Is it just me or a small version of what happened yesterday happened a while ago, look at the charts for the DOW, S&P 500 and NASDAQ.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 11:16 AM, ZachGTFG wrote:

    Yesterday I had the unique pleasure of sitting on a trading desk while this carnage was in full force. I have only been trading for about five months so it was quite a shock to watch the greatest volatility of all time play out in front of me. Furthermore, we recorded everything that was being said on our desk and posted a video on YouTube under "Live Reaction to the Market Crash." The video provides professional perspective of yesterday's events as they occurred.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 11:29 AM, park94 wrote:

    I think the "dip" is evidence that this market is clearly being manipulated. For the price to fall that sharply NOT ONLY must there be a selloff but also NO Buyers which is extremly hard since both sides can't have "errors" at the same time. And there isn't just 1 firm sustaining the economy ,that's ridiculous.

    I think that the Fed or the plunge protection team came in to manipulate the price at a point where the major players just exited the market. I think all these current prices are just maintained artificially. Otherwise if it were a glitch things should have returned to normal but they continued falling.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 11:38 AM, IIcx wrote:
  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 11:58 AM, Quick2learn wrote:

    As a true small investor yesterday was a day of futility for me. Trying to make trades and save some of what I wanted to cash out at BOA, the trading there was like a 'dial up' internet connection, Sometimes being kicked out, sometimes trades not being recognized by co. ticker or ownership, it was sloooow going and painful as trades took many minutes and no longer mere seconds. I know volume was in the many billions of shares, but the system at BOA could not handle the internet traffic between 3-4PM. I am sure the big boys with their multiple T1 lines got the work done. And how much was made by the banks on all those trades as the flight of trillions of dollars took off?

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 1:35 PM, wilsonced wrote:

    Yesterday demonstrated how the manipulation of the market by a few crooks can affect millions of people. This whole economy is built on a fragile system of trust that is falling apart. (I guess it's appropriate that the "error" originated in Chicago---that's where most of the corruption seems to come from nowadays).

    I had several protective stop sales that were 20% below market, they executed almost instantaneously, and since I wasn't at my computer at the time, I could not update them, or buy them back until they had jumped again to a price higher than I sold at.

    Also, there was no access to Charles Schwab during this mess according to some people I know who called me right after the drop when they couldn't respond either.

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 2:55 PM, gbe8102 wrote:

    Hope no one who owned this stocks, jumped of a bridge... Who bought them at their low price? and who sold them? probably out of job now

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2010, at 6:53 PM, starpark88 wrote:

    Turns out it was the quants selling off, like I said above.

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/07/nyse-trading-glitch-markets...

    But how is that manipulation? If firms want to put their money into a program, thats their right. If trading doesn't inherently hurt a firm, then this should have no impact on longs. And for daytraders, that the risk you take.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2010, at 11:25 AM, tradeiti wrote:

    Anyone who believes this was a glitch,a mistake is truly a FOOL.No way this was an accident.When Accenture went to .01 who got to buy?Somebody did

    or it would still be there.Certain people or groups of people just made an incredible amount of money.

    However,we'll never find out who they were!

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2010, at 1:22 PM, snickerdoodle9 wrote:

    just another good reason not to trust Wall Street with my money since bailing out of the stock market with my life savings in tact 2 1/2 ( 2007 ) years ago . no matter how appealing the upswings of the stock market

    may be used to bait you back in , the house always wins . if i want to gamble , i' ll go to the local casino ( which i don't ) .

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2010, at 11:42 PM, tgauchat wrote:

    The SEC is SNAFU. Useless corrupt porn watchers.

  • Report this Comment On May 14, 2010, at 12:56 PM, cottonthumb555 wrote:

    The idea that elections can now be near-predicted by predicting voting patterns in a general election, so could the stock market use similar trading patterns to predict a winner or a failure that to most odinary folks might look like a computer glitch.

    Predicting patterns in voting in real-time would give the State the tools required to keep this game going.

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