NASDAQ Data Glitch Causes Mayhem As AAPL, MSFT, GOOG And Other Tech Stocks Freak Out

A number of tech stocks had a bit of a freak-out moment yesterday evening, after an error in the computer system linked to the Nasdaq caused their valuations (in some cases) to swing widely. A glitch affected stocks listed on the Nasdaq, and caused many of their share prices to change to $123.47.

In the case of Apple (AAPL), $123.47 represented a 14.27 percent slide compared to its last closing price. As for Amazon (AMZN), its share price plummeted by $844.53 or 87.24 percent, which would have been a devastating and crippling blow for the company. On the other hand, Microsoft (MSFT) shares, which also parroted the $123.47 price, were up 79.12 percent.

Luckily, no trades took place at the dramatically lower (or higher) price points, and the Nasdaq reported that “it was no error” on its part. It gave an explanation for the mishap, stating that “test data” was improperly distributed using unlisted trade privileges (UTP). This data was then picked up by third parties — Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNNMoney, etc. — and was briefly allowed to propagate before all share prices returned to normal.

It should also be noted that the Nasdaq’s own website didn’t reflect the $123.47 share prices, which confirms that this was simply a case of third-parties reacting to test data, which is often disseminated on a daily basis.

The glitch affected just the Nasdaq, so stocks traded via the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) were thankfully unaffected by the brief market meltdown.

Markets closed three hours early yesterday (1PM) ahead of the July 4th holiday. The test data upload occurred after trading was finished for the day.

(Top Image Source: Julien GONG Min/flickr)