American Capital Agency Corp., a real-estate investment trust, plunged the most in 10 months at today’s open as millions of shares traded before the stock recovered about two-thirds of the loss.
Shares of the Bethesda, Maryland, company slid to their lowest price (AGNC:US) of the day one minute after the 9:30 a.m. open of exchanges in New York, plunging 11 percent to $30.30 in five trades totaling 524 shares executed on the Nasdaq Stock Market and venues off exchanges, according to data (AGNC:US) compiled by Bloomberg. By 9:32 a.m., the shares had rebounded 6.4 percent from the day’s low to $32.25.
The sudden drop in American Capital comes a week after trading in dozens of companies went haywire in the first minutes of the session on Aug. 1. That episode was later traced to a computer malfunction at one of the country’s biggest market- making firms that spewed orders by mistake. More than 24 million (AGNC:US) shares of American Capital changed hands (AGNC:US) today as of 12:08 p.m., about four times the stock’s average full-day volume this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“It feels a lot like last Wednesday’s action,” said Larry Peruzzi, senior equity trader at Cabrera Capital Markets LLC in Boston. “Something is going on.”
Volume for Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NLY:US), the largest real estate investment trust that buys mortgage debt, was almost 20 million shares. The stock (AGNC:US) fell as much as 3.3 percent to $16.25 before paring losses and trading down 1.7 percent at $16.51.
Representatives for American Capital did not respond to a voicemail message requesting comment. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. spokesman Robert Madden did not respond to requests for comment.
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