New York, May 7 (ANI): A trade error is believed to have been behind the Dow Jones Industries average and shares in Procter and Gamble and Accenture dropping overnight.
Rumours swirled around the market that a trader had reportedly entered a "b" for billion instead of an "m" for million in a trade involving Procter and Gamble, CNBC reported, citing several sources.
Management consulting powerhouse Accenture also traded at around 41.78 dollars a share when it suddenly plunged to a cent a share. In the next few minutes the share recovered to end the overnight session at 41.09 dollars.
This set off a chain of trades that led to the largest intra-day plunge in the history of the Dow Jones Industrials average.
Shares in Procter and Gamble fell from 61.56 dollars a share to 39.37 dollars a share and then quickly bounced back again.
Procter and Gamble later confirmed the sudden drop in its share price was an error, MarketWatch reports.
According to news.com.au, there was a trading error known as the "fat finger problem" that occurred at a major investment bank, and it was combined with fears over the Greek debt crisis to leave the US market reeling.
The crash began shortly before 2.25 p.m. local time, when in a white-knuckle 20 minutes America's top 30 firms saw their share prices dive 998.5 points, almost 9 per cent, wiping out billions in market value.
The drop eclipsed even the crashes seen when markets reopened after September 11, 2001 and in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse.
By closing time the major US stock market indexes had lost about 3 per cent.
The effect of the drop was felt in Australia, with the local market opening about 3 per cent lower.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the US Securities and Exchange Commission said in a joint statement after trading closed that they were working closely with other financial regulators and exchanges "to review the unusual trading activity."
The regulators said they would make the findings of their review public. (ANI)