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.
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,976.31 263.65 1.49%
Nasdaq 4,947.44 56.22 1.15%
S&P 500 2,086.24 25.22 1.22%
Treasuries 1.96 0.01 0.77%
Data as of 10:42pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.52 0.21 1.37%
Intel Corp 31.46 -0.54 -1.69%
Apple Inc 126.37 3.12 2.53%
Altera Corp 42.82 -1.57 -3.54%
Microsoft Corp 40.96 -0.01 -0.02%
Data as of 4:04pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

McDonald's will begin serving McMuffins and hash browns all day at certain locations in the San Diego area. More

Warren calls reports that big banks might withhold campaign dollars from Senate Democrats 'a serious threat' More

Jay Z brought out Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Kanye West, and more to announce Tidal -- his new streaming service owned by the artists themselves. More