Citigroup: No fat fingers here

By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Citigroup denied on Friday the "rumors" that one of its traders caused Thursday's stock market landslide by pressing the wrong key because of a fat finger.

The rumors suggested that the trader hit a "b" key, representing the sale of a billion shares, instead of an "m" key for million.

"As we have said, based on our review, rumors about a trading error by Citi are unfounded," said Citigroup, in a press statement. "It is troubling that inaccurate and unfounded rumors were spread as far as they were."

With this statement, Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) hopes to absolve itself of blame for the extreme market volatility that occurred on Thursday. The Dow went on a wild ride, making a historic plunge of nearly 1,000 points before partially recovering to close down 348.

A fat-fingered trader may not be to blame, but what did happen is still being investigated.

As a result, Nasdaq said it would negate trading on 296 stocks that plunged at least 60% between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday. While those stocks will have their share prices pushed back up as a result, owners of other stocks that experienced less than 60% declines, such as Procter and Gamble (PG, Fortune 500), 3M (MMM, Fortune 500) and Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), are caught holding the bag. Their losses were steep, ranging from 21.5% to 37%, but not steep enough to have their slates swept clean.

The Citigroup "rumors" generated plenty of Internet banter and mockery -- with some people evoking a famous episode on "The Simpsons" where Homer's fingers are too fat to dial a phone properly.

In the episode, an automatic phone message tells Homer, "The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand please mash the keypad with your palm now."

The Nasdaq and Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange, also denied that the stock slide was caused by a market glitch. To top of page

Citigroup denied on Friday the "rumors" that one of its traders caused Thursday's stock market landslide by pressing the wrong key because of a fat finger.
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,730.36 119.45 0.49%
Nasdaq 7,362.87 18.62 0.25%
S&P 500 2,717.25 4.33 0.16%
Treasuries 2.88 0.03 1.20%
Data as of 3:55pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 166.47 -6.09 -3.53%
General Electric Co 13.63 -0.44 -3.13%
Oracle Corp 47.08 -4.88 -9.38%
Advanced Micro Devic... 11.12 -0.31 -2.71%
Micron Technology In... 61.07 0.93 1.54%
Data as of 3:40pm ET


Former NFL players are teaming up with producer and director Charlie Ebersol on a new league that will rival the XFL. More

Despite President Trump saying the economy is "raging" and at an "all-time high," growth forecasts have been plunging for the first quarter of 2018. More

"It's like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes," Elon Musk, referring to trade rules with China, tweeted to President Donald Trump. More

Cubicles and more defined work areas are going away and being replaced with open spaces, more vegetation and easy access to the outdoors. More