Today, the most fascinating fuck up in the stock market was not the flash dash in Renaissance Learning after hours, after the company announced it was handing out a $2 special dividend which based on some Keynesian version of mathematics resulted in a $9 surge in the stock price, but what is almost certainly a world record set in the churn of one of the most actively traded ETFs: the SPDR Select Sector Fund - Financials, better known as the XLF. As the linked Nanex data demonstrates, between the times of 14:25:18 and 14:27:20, someone sent out a total of 2,793,000 quotes on the Nasdaq exchange, an average of 23,275 quotes per second, and 23.3 quotes per millisecond! While we have not followed individual churn rates before, we assign today's quote bombardment in the XLF the world record (for the time being) in churning empty quotes. All joking aside, the SEC should immediately figure out who the offending party in this flagrant example of quote stuffing was, and politely ask just how it is that the entity could possibly expect that someone, anyone, could possibly trade on these 2.8 million quotes in 2 minutes, and if the intention was not to actually trade based on the massive quote packet (which is the only legal option, but that's a story for a parallel universe in which the SEC actually cares about the rulez), just what the actual intention of this world record in churn was?
Below is a visualization of the explosion in XLF churn: