No. of Recommendations: 23
Interesting trading day for ICOA. The company name and ticker are the same. ICOA is a WIFI hotspot provider with a market cap under $1 million. It loosely trades on the pink sheets. I say loosely because its last trade before today was on October 3rd.

Today, some enterprising soul decided to issue a press release on PRWeb. PRweb is a legitimate service that many companies use to announce earnings and other significant events. The PR announcement today said that Google had agreed to buy ICOA for $400 million. A nice 400X change in price.

Only problem was that the PR announcement was false. Both Google and ICOA issued PR releases saying there were NO talks and NO deal. Before it could be retracted, the news had spread to several other reputable places.

In the high speed, algorithmic trading world we live in, 3.3 BILLION shares traded at prices ranging from .0001 to .0005. At the midpoint, this would be about $830 thousand dollars traded. There are MANY automated, algorithmic, high speed systems that are programmed to make buy/sell decisions based solely on news. These programs act first, then a human can review the trades later. Obviously they depend on having accurate data. The dollar amount is nothing, but it has to send a shiver up the CPU backplanes. If you can trick the algos on a few larger trades, we might be talking real money. Still a long way from Everett Dirksen land. (“A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you are talking about real money.”)

Our new SEC chairman, Elisse Walter, will have an interesting time sorting this one out.

Welcome to the job Elisse!



CNN has the details.
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