Whiting Petroleum just experienced a 'fat-finger' as we are sure Pisani and his ilk will describe it. What clearly happened was the headline/story scraping algos were tripped up by a sentence containing a bullish start and a bearish finish...
Whiting Petroleum Corp. explored selling itself [BULLISH buy buy buy] earlier this year but decided not to proceed after buyers balked over the oil producer’s asking price [BEARISH sell sell sell], according to people familiar with the sale efforts.
By the time the algos had read that first sentence of a WSJ Deal Journal blog post, the stock had pumped-and-dumped over 8% in 250 milliseconds - at which point humans entered the party (and sold). Efficient liquidity providers indeed.
Yesterday, with all the grace of a permabull in a China propaganda store (aka CNBC), Rayond James' ever ebullient Jeff Saut tangoed in to tell anyone clueless enough to listen that stocks are cheap. Oh, and to buy some firm nobody had ever heard of before called Tangoe. In explaining what they do, here is what he said: "these people have the greatest and newest software on the planet right now. Who did they sell it to? To institutions like raymond james. We use their ordering and billing software and hopefully switch to their telecommunications software. It's nifty stuff." He also had some great things to say about Whiting Petroleum. So far so good. What Saut did not say is that his employer, Raymond James, for whom he works as chief strategist (which probably means to advise clients to dollar cost average all the way to $0.00) is an underwriter on not just one but both companies' secondary equity offerings in process, and that commenting on their growth prospects in a non-banana republic would be not only prohibited but punished (see quiet period). Well, the people with the "greatest and newest software on the planet" aren't waiting for the SEC to turn off the porncast. As can be seen from the following before and after cover pages of Tangoe's S1, Raymond James has just been fired as of this morning, following Saut's rank amateur commentary yesterday.
- Obama Considering Another Stimulus Tax Cut (New Republic)
- Taxes on the menu in debt-reduction talks (Reuters)
- Americans torn over debt limit (WaPo)
- Dimon Challenges Bernanke on Wall Street Regulation (Bloomberg)
- The Great Property Bubble of China May Be Popping (WSJ)
- Beige Book confirms break in supply chain(FT)
- Trichet May Play ECB Rate Card as Germany Risks Split on New Greek Rescue (Bloomberg)
- Slow growth to anchor Bank rates despite price pressure (Reuters)
- President Obama Authors The Economic Recovery That Isn’t (Forbes)
- New Cracks in Oil Cartel (WSJ)
S&P Yesterday had some bad things to say about Whiting Petroleum and cut its outlook on the name. Well, hopefully you are not a manager who buys and sell based on what those rockets scientists have to say (i.e. a mutual fund): today the company announced it is issuing 8 million shares of stock, which incidentally sent the stock plunging by 10%, in order to pay back a portion of its $620 million total in outstanding debt.