06 May 2010

In less than five minutes, the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled about 565 points, dropping almost 1,000 points on the day. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the Nasdaq followed suit. Computer programs intensified the selloff as markets fell through some trading limits.

And then, almost as quickly, the markets recovered most of the decline.

Mr. Hogan said that it was difficult to figure out just what was driving the market. “We have got a lot of competing forces,” he said.

via Markets Tumble Almost 4% on Greek Worries - NYTimes.com.

The market is such a racket.  I recently read Michael Lewis’ Liar’s Poker and I am more convinced than ever. I don’t know how someone can watch these markets and think prices are perfectly set.  It’s mostly herd behavior and algorithms.

UPDATE: Fat-fingered trading was the cause

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