For a few moments last week Google's stock dropped $350. Don't get too excited. It was a mistake. Those guys are still making a fortune selling "tiny classified ads."
On Thursday, trading in Google wrapped up the day at $387.12 a share at the usual closing time of 4 p.m. A minute after the close, Google announced its second-quarter results: better than expected earnings, but decelerating revenue growth from the prior quarter.
At 4:02 p.m., in after-hours trading, Google's shares got creamed, initially tumbling to as low as $364, down more than $23 a share from its close, but then rallying back to $391, for a gain of nearly $14.
At about the $391 price point, an order originated on Instinet-ATS (a Nasdaq company) that triggered trades between 4:10 p.m. and 4:12 p.m. at a price as low as $38 (representing a drop of almost $350 a share from the close). In brief, someone from a Nasdaq member firm punched in an erroneous figure to commence a trade.
That led to a host of subsequent trading at $38, as well as at $37.81, $37.82, $37.99, $38.02, $38.03, and $38.05.
Error Knocks Down Google $350 a Share [New York Sun]