This past week has been a wild one. Taleb's Black Swan event on Thursday, May 6, 2010 was fascinating for students of market history. What a fiasco! I was looking at a one minute and hourly chart of the S&P 500 emini market. On a minute basis, the 2:42 pm est. bar opened at 1114. In the next four minutes it dropped 58 points, or -5.21%. On an hourly basis, the 2;00 pm est. bar opened at 1142.25 and reached the low of 1056 for an 86.25 point loss, or -7.55%. Put those moves in the record books.
Now everyone is trying to figure out what occurred. There are reports of fat fingers, blaming of high frequency trading strategies, electronic trading glitches, fault with the exchanges, and strange individual stock behavior. Let me also point out this all occurred as the S&P 500 Cash opening price for the year, 1116.56, was pierced.