Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of coal miner Alpha Natural Resources
So what: Like I said, only some services show that dramatic jump: Yahoo! Finance, the official NYSE quotes, and Nasdaq services all show Alpha Natural topping out at $57.08 today. Both of my brokerage services agree with Yahoo! and friends, but Google Finance and CNN Money both report that bizarre spike.
Now what: So either some poor soul got a really bad trade through BATS Trading that didn't register on competing services, or else something's amiss with the BATS data feed. Either way, it's a little bizarre -- Google Finance is supposed to get its real-time data directly from the Nasdaq and Yahoo! once signed a real-time data deal with BATS. Maybe things have changed since last time I checked; it's not trivial to find out where each service gets its data from. In any case, this is a reminder to never trade with market orders, just in case you're the next investor caught on the wrong end of a blip like this.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.