Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The only "do-over" is for a penny!

Here's the story on UAL yesterday. All the trades will stand except for the print at the penny:

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--The Nasdaq Stock Market won't cancel trades involving UAL Corp. (UAUA) that occurred during a 13-minute stretch Monday morning when the shares lost as much as three-quarters of their value after an erroneous report that the carrier filed for bankruptcy.

In the immediate aftermath of the sell-off, many traders clamored for Nasdaq to cancel the trades, which were made after the republication of a six-year-old story related to a previous bankruptcy filing by the parent of United Airlines.

However, Nasdaq, a unit of Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ), said in a statement that it had reviewed transactions involving UAL shares between 10:55 a.m. and 11:08 a.m. EDT and determined that all trades will stand. The exchange, which found no indication of possible Nasdaq rules violations, also said that the decision can't be appealed.

UAL shares, which were suspended from trading for nearly 90 minutes after the bankruptcy report was revealed to be false, ended Monday's session down 11% at $10.92. The stock, which has suffered all year as the Chicago airline struggles to restore profitability amid high fuel prices and weak economic conditions, fell as low as $3 on Monday, near its 52-week low of $2.80 set July 15.

Nearly 55 million shares traded hands, which was double the average daily volume. In the half hour until 11 a.m., roughly 26 million UAL shares were traded.

The report that sparked the volatile trading was published on the Web site of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a paper owned by Tribune Co., which also owns the Chicago Tribune. The report was a republication of a Chicago Tribune article that originally ran in December 2002, when UAL entered what turned out to be a bankruptcy reorganization process that lasted just over three years...

Among the flurry of transactions that followed the reports of bankruptcy were one for 100 shares at 1 cent, and another for 100 shares at $999.99. The trades were carried out on the CBOE Stock Exchange, which is owned by the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

A CBOE spokeswoman confirmed that a trade took place after the UAL trading halt was implemented, and that trade was subsequently canceled. It was unclear which trade she was referring to.

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