A stock market data glitch made it seem like the stocks of several heavyweight tech companies on the Nasdaq exchange had crashed.
Share prices for Apple, Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft all appeared at $123.47, which would've marked a whopping crash if it were true. Amazon's opening price, for instance, is $972.79 per share — it's a long way down to $123.47 and would've been catastrophic.
For Amazon, for instance, it would've marked a catastrophic drop from its opening price of $972.79 per share. The dubious share prices were due to a glitch and affected roughly 16 stocks, but not all of them negatively. For Zynga, the ailing Facebook game maker that was once on the roll, the glitch gave the impression that it's once again successful.
Tech Stocks Crash Glitch: What Happened?
In a statement to the Financial Times, Nasdaq explained that the whole issue stemmed from "improper use of test data" that third-party financial data providers picked up.
As the U.S. market closed early Monday before the 4th of July holiday, traders got alarmingly wrong stock prices for several companies, including some of the largest and most successful technology companies. Amazon's and Alphabet's stock prices appeared to show a staggering drop of more than 80 percent.
Third-party data providers pushed the wrong prices after the early market close, as the exchange operator was testing its pricing data feed. Some providers such as Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, and Bloomberg LP showed the fake changes in share prices. Nasdaq spokesman Joe Cristinat says the test data is sent on a daily basis, but the fact that third-party providers distributed it was a glitch and the changes never really happened. Nasdaq is reportedly working with providers to solve the matter.
No Nasdaq Technical Issue
On the bright side, at least the wrong prices appeared on a holiday when the market had closed. Such mistakes would have a greater impact when the market is open. Christinat highlighted that Nasdaq itself did not have any technical issue and it didn't make any trades at the wrong prices. Third-party data providers simply took the test data and improperly distributed it as if the figures were real. The stock prices on Nasdaq's official website showed the real figures, unaffected by the glitch that third-party data providers experienced.
"We can confirm that our third-party finance data partner was providing some inaccurate information, which they received from Nasdaq," Google told Financial Times. "This is currently being fixed and we hope to update our stock price data shortly."