Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Citigroup: No fat fingers here

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- 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.

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 19,768.35 -36.37 -0.18%
Nasdaq 5,551.14 -4.52 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,267.85 -4.04 -0.18%
Treasuries 2.48 0.09 3.64%
Data as of 12:07pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
CSX Corp 43.66 6.78 18.38%
Bank of America Corp... 22.61 -0.02 -0.09%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.75 -0.23 -3.30%
Micron Technology In... 21.90 -0.43 -1.90%
Netflix Inc 140.43 7.17 5.38%
Data as of 11:52am ET
Sponsors

Sections

Wilbur Ross, Trump's pick for commerce secretary, is angered by these sneaky tactics he says China and other countries use to cheat the U.S. on trade. More

China and Japan sold a large amount of U.S. Treasury bonds in November. It's not just a reaction to Donald Trump and possible stimulus though. They have been selling bonds for months. If this continues, rates could creep even higher. More

The e-commerce firm will help sell merchandise, organize the Games and run a Chinese internet TV channel. More

If you're smart about when you first claim Social Security, you can increase your benefits and reap the rewards for the rest of your life. More