Apple shares experienced their largest fall in three months during one minute this morning, with a huge, mysterious spike in volume.
Shares opened at $118.80 at 9.30am EST, before suddenly experiencing a one-minute rush at 9.51am, with 6.7 million shares traded. During that minute, shares lost more than three per cent, and eventually fell as much as 6.4 per cent to $111.27. By 11am they had settled around $115, just over three per cent below their opening price.
No one's really sure why it happened: although Morgan Stanley dropped the company's weighting by one percentage point in its portfolio today, that shouldn't have been enough to explain the sheer speed of the shares' fall.
Analysts suggested the rapid fall could have been to do with automated high-speed trading software.
Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in the US, told Reuters:
Maybe it was the Morgan Stanley news that kind of stimulated the event, but certainly not enough to move a stock $35 billion.
What that is called is evaporation of liquidity, liquidity that was never there in the first place and it’s a typical maneuver that goes on in the fragmented stock market we have now.