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Nasdaq OMX has canceled the trades of 296 companies from yesterday, including Accenture (NYSE: ACN ) and Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM ) , which both fell to $0.01 a share before rebounding back. Nasdaq has said there was no technical glitch on its end.
There was a glitch, though. As The New York Times reported:
One official said they identified "a huge, anomalous, unexplained surge in selling, it looks like in Chicago," about 2:45 p.m. The source remained unknown, but that jolt apparently set off trading based on computer algorithms, which in turn rippled across indexes and spiraled out of control.
Here's what we know: High-frequency trading accounts for between 50% and 75% of daily trading volume, according to the Times. When an erroneous trade hits -- like the rumored "billions" instead of "millions" fat-finger trade -- chaos and volatility ensue. As we wrote yesterday, days like yesterday are why we prefer to focus on the long-term view here at The Motley Fool.
The NYSE and Nasdaq are now canceling trades from yesterday's most volatile period. Those who were burned will get a "do-over." Which got us thinking: If you could cancel any one trade of yours --- stocks, baseball cards, spouses--- what would you cancel?
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