Area Man Likens Almost Buying Shares Of Facebook To Near-Death Experience

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]

(hidden for your protection)
Show all comments

24 Responses to “Area Man Likens Almost Buying Shares Of Facebook To Near-Death Experience”

  1. Ackman says:


    • guest says:

      What's his special skill?

      • Harbinger of Timber says:

        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

  2. Jared White says:

    I'm albino.

  3. Rudy says:

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

  4. busy says:

    This happens all day every day…

    "Call Globex"

  5. The Truth says:

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

    • Guest says:

      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.

  6. BSME says:

    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

  7. Texashedge says:

    "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

  8. Steven says:

    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"

  9. _guest says:

    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

  10. lolwut says:

    The SEC will be in touch.

    • The SEC says:

      No, we won't.

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

  11. Dr. Hineman says:

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

  12. Captain Obvious, CFA says:

    You know who else was struck by lightning? Powder.

  13. Sherwood says:

    The man has angels on his shoulders.

  14. Guest says:

    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

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

  16. aminta says:

    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"