The Dow Jones newswires had a ‘technical error’ which caused the portal to report several spurious stories including several headlines claiming Google was acquiring Apple for $9 billion, and that the deal was pre-arranged with Steve Jobs in his will.
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Obviously, every element of the story is made up, but it’s pretty funny to see the temporal blip on Apple’s stock price, which briefly spiked up to $158. The fake stories have now been removed by DJ.
Whilst the contents of the story make it obvious that the news is completely fake, the existence of real-time high-speed trading means the jump to $158 was almost certainly caused by automatic computer algorithms rather than real people.
The erroneous headlines included news that Google employees would take over the Apple headquarters, receive 9 Apple shares for every Google stock owned and that the deal was set to close tomorrow.
The stock jump was quickly corrected in the following minutes. $AAPL is back to typical levels, around $156.
Update: Dow Jones provided the following statement on the matter.
“Please disregard the headlines that ran on Dow Jones Newswires between 9:34 a.m. ET and 9:36 a.m. ET. Due to a technical error, the headlines were published. All of those headlines are being removed from the wires. We apologize for the error.”