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Test data blamed for wild swings in Nasdaq-listed stocks

05 July 2017, 12:34 | Hattie Nash

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Tech stock prices have gone rogue in after-hours trading

As reported by the Financial Times, a coding error of some kind forced the shares of giant USA technology companies - including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google-owning Alphabet - to the same price of $123.47. "This is now being fixed and we hope to update our stock price data shortly". "Any data messages received post 5:16 PM should be deemed as test data and purged from direct data recipient's databases". While it appears that no trades were affected, the error momentarily wiped off hundreds of billions of dollars of market value for these companies.

Testing of stock exchange software is mandated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and happens on a regular basis to help prevent electronic glitches, often using test symbols and historical data, Reuters reported. The exchange said it was "working with third party vendors to resolve this matter".

It is possible that this value of $ 123.47 relates to test data transmitted on the Nasdaq IS.

Nasdaq said the false data was part of the "normal evening test procedures".

US markets had closed early ahead of the holiday.

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Erroneous prices showed up on the websites that included CNNMoney, Bloomberg and Google Finance in after-hours trading.

Tracking share prices in real time is usually done via platforms like Bloomberg's, while others rely on Google and Yahoo Finance. Third-party providers were blamed by Nasdaq for the problem.

The weird numbers didn't affect actual trades in the stocks, Nasdaq spokesman Ryan Wells said.

The service had sent out test data that third parties such as Bloomberg published.

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