The Facebook IPO left some investors seething. For Jared White, it left him feeling very lucky. “I seriously got struck by lightning and survived,” the 31-year-old Austin, Texas, trader said of his experiences amid the confusion that engulfed one of the highest-profile initial public offerings ever. At around 10:45 a.m. Friday, Mr. White says, he placed an order to buy 30,000 Facebook shares, setting as his limit price $43 a share, at the opening of trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, scheduled for 11 a.m. But the opening was delayed, and at 11:08 a.m., Mr. White accidentally canceled his orders through his firm’s electronic trading system. He pushed the wrong button on his computer, Mr. White explained, when he meant to cancel orders for a different stock. Mr. White realized what he had done at 11:13. He quickly re-entered his order, saw an indication that it was accepted by Nasdaq and settled in front of his screen to watch the action when trading finally started at 11:30 a.m…At around 1:50 p.m., the traders finally got confirmations from Nasdaq on their original orders—except for Mr. White, whose account in the Great Point system showed zero shares. He felt like he had dodged a bullet, but he was confused. “What? How?” Mr. White asked his technical-operations manager, who had been on the phone with Nasdaq all morning. He soon learned why he didn’t have any shares: Across the market, orders that had been placed between 11:11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. had fallen into some kind of a black hole. That meant Mr. White’s re-entered order was never recognized. About the same time, revelations were hitting other traders across the market, surprising some who held shares they thought they had sold. Trading volume surged as orders flooded Nasdaq, causing a steep drop in Facebook’s price. The shares never really recovered and fell most of the rest of the day, closing at $38.23 at 4 p.m. “I was utterly relieved,” Mr. White said of his phantom trade. [WSJ]

24 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
Show all comments ↓

Comments (24)

  1. Posted by Ackman | May 21, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Hired!

  2. Posted by guest | May 21, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    What's his special skill?

  3. Posted by Jared White | May 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I'm albino.

  4. Posted by Harbinger of Timber | May 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Getting out of horrid money losing trades without them ever seeming to have had them taken place at all? Hell, if he doesn't go to Pershing we'll gladly take him!

    -J. Paulson & P. Falcone

  5. Posted by Alt_EST | May 21, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Well looky here, its a human Q-tip!

    -H. Evans

  6. Posted by Rudy | May 21, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    If anyone deserves the name White, it's that guy.

  7. Posted by busy | May 21, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    This happens all day every day…

    "Call Globex"

  8. Posted by The Truth | May 21, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Admitting in the WSJ to hitting the wrong button on a rudimentary trading system is the NKI

  9. Posted by BSME | May 21, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    You have to look longer term, it will hit 80 a share soon and our piece will be worth a cool 2 billion*

    -Instagram Rounding Quant

    *Approximate; actual value closer to $1.55 billion

  10. Posted by Texashedge | May 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    "the traders finally got confirmations from Nasdaq on their original orders—except for Mr. White, whose account in the Great Point system showed zero shares."

    No soul, no shares

  11. Posted by Steven | May 21, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    This is one of the dumbest things ive ever heard, why was he buying at 43 in the first place? Alternative title for the article, "Beavis saves butt by hitting the wrong key and taking a bit long to even realize it"

  12. Posted by _guest | May 21, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    The reason the Facebook shares have dropped is because of some technical trading glitch and not its fundamentals. This is bullish. I recommend getting in at any price below $100.

    UBS Social Media Analyst

  13. Posted by RBS Research MD | May 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    What are "fundamentals?"

  14. Posted by lolwut | May 21, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    The SEC will be in touch.

  15. Posted by The SEC | May 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    No, we won't.

    -Guy furiously poking and friending randoms who look like trannies.

  16. Posted by Dr. Hineman | May 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    That's the last time I leave the door to the precog pool unlocked.

  17. Posted by Captain Obvious, CFA | May 22, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    You know who else was struck by lightning? Powder.

  18. Posted by Dead_Cat | May 22, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Why is this not getting more appreciation?

  19. Posted by Guesticulate | May 22, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Hey!

    - Gingers everywhere

  20. Posted by Guest | May 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Attempting to buy 30,000 of FB @ $43…stupid idea. Hitting the wrong button and cancelling your enormous trade…stupid idea. Talking openly about both of the above isn't going to help your career either.

    He may have dodged this bullet but I'm sure his troubles in life are just beginning.

  21. Posted by Sherwood | May 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    The man has angels on his shoulders.

  22. Posted by Guest | May 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    This Just In – All orders entered between 11:11 and 11:30 have now been filled. Congratulations you are down 15% with no end in sight.

    - NASDAQ

  23. Posted by cheap seo services | September 10, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    hTcDfQ This is one awesome article post.Really thank you! Great.

  24. Posted by aminta | May 31, 2014 at 4:26 AM

    This is one of the dumbest factors ive ever observed, why was he purchasing at 43 in the first place? Substitute headline for the content, "Beavis helps you to save buttocks by reaching the incorrect key and getting a bit lengthy to even recognize it"