NYSE glitch sparks volatility in Berkshire Hathaway and dozens of stocks

Trading in at least 60 stocks is halted due to volatility as Berkshire Hathaway shares plunge 99.97%.

A glitch at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has triggered enormous swings in the shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Barrick Gold and led to trading halts in dozens of other companies before the bourse fixed the problem.

Trading in at least 60 stocks listed on the NYSE were halted on Monday due to volatility and some stocks showed unusual outsized movements.

The NYSE, owned by Intercontinental Exchange, said by late Monday morning that it had resolved a reported technical issue and the impacted stocks had resumed trading.

Berkshire Hathaway and Barrick Gold shares were shown to be down 99.97 percent and 98.54 percent, respectively, due to the technical issue before those trades were corrected.

Berkshire Hathaway, the company run by famed investor Warren Buffett, saw its A-class shares plunge to $185.10 from Friday’s closing price of $627,400 before its trading was halted. After the shares later resumed trading, they immediately recovered all those losses and shot towards $700,000.

The exchange did not give a full list of stocks affected, but trading of Berkshire Hathaway’s A-class shares was halted at 9:50am (13:50 GMT) just before the NYSE first said it was investigating a technical issue.

The NYSE said the problem was related to Limit Up-Limit Down bands meant to prevent extraordinary market volatility and extreme price movements in individual stock by preventing trades outside specific price ranges that are updated throughout the trading day.

The price band for each security is set at a percentage level above and below its average price in the preceding five minutes.

The bands were developed as part of the response by financial regulators and exchanges to the “flash crash” of 2010, which wiped out nearly $1 trillion in market capitalization in a few minutes.

Technical issues on exchanges can hit markets, impact traders’ confidence and attract scrutiny from regulators.

“I don’t think the overall market is reacting,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B Riley Financial.

The NYSE did not immediately respond to a request by the Reuters news agency for comment.

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