LiveDeal Flash Smash Sends Stock Up 365%, Nukes Shorts

Today's flash smash comes courtesy of microcap company LiveDeal (Nasdaq: LIVE, market cap around $3 MM) where thanks to a rogue (presumably - there are no news in the name) algorithm the stock shoots up from an opening price of $4.79 all that way to $22.25 in about one minute: a gain of 365%, which is too rich even for KKR's new prop group. And no, this is not a fat finger as the QR screen below shows: the algo was busted enough to lift every single offer in a row - there were virtually no downticks for the span of over 15 seconds. The result: 1,679 shorts end up with an almost 400% loss (one of the benefits of unlimited downside shorting). And as the stock has very little liquidity it is very likely that assorted brokers took matters into their own hands and force covered all those who were underwater and losing substantially. And the cherry on top: not a single trade has been busted. In other words, exchanges are more than happy to unwind trades immediately when an algo loses money, but when an algo creates thousands of forced buy ins and retail investors are left with huge losses, then no luck on the DK. What is scariest is that HFT has now gone microcap: with Apple, Amazon, BofA and Netflix bled dry, it is about time the robotic scalping crew found new pastures.

The chart says it all:

Stock recap during the surge:

Have fun shorting this one

And here is Nanex' take:

Quite a run-up. Interesting that the bid kept pinging back down to previous levels. Note it sticks there at approx. 15:12:26 and the spread (including the BBO on both sides) is over $12.