Traders See Price Errors at Close in Apple, Google, Others

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(Aug 14): Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and other popular stocks had a bizarre last few moments of trading Tuesday, raising speculation that data glitches were hampering U.S. stock markets for a second day.

Traders’ screens showed Apple, after spending most of the session with gains of more than 5%, ending the day at $200.48 -- exactly the same price it had closed at Monday. Minutes later, the price was corrected to $208.97, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A similar glitch afflicted Alphabet, PayPal Holdings Inc., Comcast Corp. and others.

“A bunch of stocks looked to close at yesterday’s close,” said Mohit Bajaj, director of ETFs at WallachBeth Capital, pointing to Apple as one example.

The issue came a day after errors in a feed run by the New York Stock Exchange delayed the calculation of closing levels for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The unusual close came a few hours after a problem at S&P Dow Jones Indices prevented the S&P 500 and Dow from updating for roughly 15 minutes on Tuesday. “Our index management team has already resolved the issue and is currently assessing any necessary remediation to avoid further interruptions,” said April Kabahar, head of communications at the index compiler.

Though rare, issues with price feeds have occasionally dogged U.S. equity infrastructure in its electronic age. In August 2013, a computer error froze thousands of securities listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market for three hours in an interruption later attributed to a malfunctioning price feeds. The New York Stock Exchange halted trading for 3 1/2 hours because of a computer malfunction in July 2015.

“I don’t think it’s unprecedented,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. “Once they corrected it, all these irregularities went away.” - Bloomberg