Here’s to another great oversight job by the SEC and the NASD. For anyone who caught any of the trading in Dendreon today (NASD:DNDN), this is exactly the type of situation that can be the death of you as a trader. Once you see it unfolding, the best thing you can do is STAY THE HELL AWAY. For those of you who missed all the “fun”, basically DNDN tanked nearly 70% in a bit over two minutes from 1:25pm to 1:27pm down to around $7.75 and was halted a few minutes later. Trading did not resume until 6:15pm when the stock reopened at about $24 per share and traded as high as $27.65 within minutes before pulling back a bit. You think maybe a few people got caught in the early fun and games that took place by some market-manipulating private trading elite? I’d bet on it…
The Nasdaq Stock Market said it was investigating two minutes worth of transactions in Dendreon Corp because they may have resulted from a brokerage error. Transactions executed between 1:25pm and 1:27pm were under review, the New York-based exchange said in an e-mailed statement. Anyone who made any trades in DNDN during that time were now panicking due to the trading halt, since they have no clue what their position would be by the time it’s all over (as the stock may gap huge and/or the trades may be broken). In such a case, if it was really some massive broker error or some other strange sheistery, the proper way to handle it would have been to BREAK EVERY TRANSACTION right up to the time just before the debacle began. But, that would of course mean that those politically-connected friends of the NASD who made a fortune from this mess (you know, like Bernie Madoff until he went just a wee bit too far) would have to give it all back, and that’s just NOT PLAYING FAIR!
So, the Nasdaq Stock Market announced that it would let stand those hairy two minutes worth of transactions in Dendreon that it initially suspected were the result of a brokerage error! Nasdaq announced its decision in an e-mailed statement at 3:06pm. The statement also asserted that the ruling “cannot be appealed”. Of course not… then their pals couldn’t have booked their 100%+ of porkified profits once DNDN reopened for trading later in the day!
Getting caught in something like this is a trader’s worst nightmare, and my heart goes out to any trader who may have been sideswiped and reamed in the rear by the elite powers that be.
What can be learned from this? Trading is war, and you’re on your own. Your only protection is that you’re always in control of your position size. Remember the importance of discipline, and always consider worst-case scenarios when managing risk. Speaking of which, anyone else notice some of the “Swine Flu” stocks may be attempting to build new higher bases today (ie. NVAX, BCRX)?