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Financial

Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring

Several telecom stocks went nuts this morning, bolstered by nothing in particular, or so it seemed.

Shares of Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) quickly shot up 56 percent to $2.10 while sprinting past its average trading volume of 1.5 million shares.

Meanwhile, Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX) and Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) climbed 20 percent on unusually large volumes, too.

Was it insider trading? Merger talks? Elvis/UFO manipulation?

The truth is out there, but it's less exciting than an X-Files episode. The online news service Briefing.com tracked the share surges to a computerized trading glitch at one large (and unnamed) firm. An early morning glitch in a software program that tracks the Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks touched off some frenzied buying.

That something was amiss could be seen in the random nature of the gains. Vitesse's semiconductor cousins PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) and Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (Nasdaq: AMCC) were having normal days; AMCC was even down. Likewise, Avanex Corp.'s (Nasdaq: AVNX) gains weren't rubbing off on optical-components giant JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU).

Not every Russell 2000 stock made out so well. A random check this afternoon showed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. was just about flat, and Water Pik Technologies Inc. was down slightly.

At press time, it looked as if the stocks might keep some of their gains. Vitesse was still up 13 cents (5 percent) at $2.65, and Finisar was up 10 cents (7 percent) at $1.45. Avanex, once up 6 percent, had pulled back to a gain of 6 cents (3 percent), or $2.34.

If nothing else, the glitch added some amusement to an otherwise dull trading week, as much of Wall Street is on vacation prior to next Monday's U.S. holiday. How dull is it? Briefing.com reported earlier this week that one trader had accepted a $100 dare to drink a bottle of Tabasco sauce. Alas, the trader's firm couldn't raise enough funds from employees to get him to do it.

— Craig "Hot Sauce" Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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Big Time 12/5/2012 | 1:18:58 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring What a moron. If you're going to chug a bottle of hot sauce, you'd better get more than a C-note. Soon-to-be-unemployed trader.
pepperc9 12/5/2012 | 1:18:57 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring and any others?
RecordStraight 12/5/2012 | 1:18:57 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring Believe me, they did not forget Corvis. They ignored Corvis on purpose.
romeo-foxtrot 12/5/2012 | 1:18:56 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring NO, the Corvis stock increase was due to an inaccurate report that David Huber had finally decided to call it quits after having been visited in a midnight dream by three angels.

The first angel showed him that you shouldn't tell your own customers that they "don't get it". The second angel showed him that most major cities in the world are not 3000km apart, and thus do not need a Corvis ULH system to connect him. The third angel showed him a pile of dollar bills thirty feet high and 50 feet across, and pointed out that this was the amount of money that Corvis has lost since it was founded.

By the way, since last night the pile of money is now thirty-two feet high and 51 feet across.

Unfortunately even though the dream is true, the news of David quitting is not. Expect CORV tro continue its decline.
pepperc9 12/5/2012 | 1:18:49 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring Maybe there's been an appearance by a fourth angel since then. The fourth angel told him to get out of the equipment business and buy a $3B network for $91M. I like smart angels.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:18:45 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring The angel told him the location of a hidden book with Gold pages telling him how the ancients at the company ran the place, and foretelling its future.

Trouble is, they wrote it in an ancient and long forgotten dielect: realnumbersish.

Dave is translating it with the use of a magic crystal called: uralwaysasucker outhereum.

He is calling it the Book of Corvis.

-Why
Shazbot 12/5/2012 | 1:18:44 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring Cornholi
pepperc9 12/5/2012 | 1:18:43 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring It doesn't matter what the angel's name is. It could be "Pinhead", or "Dave II", for that matter. It's the thought tha counts, and the thought is that CORVIS no longer loses hundreds of millions/yr developing equipment for traditional carriers who aren't buying. They run an advanced network called BW/Focal soon to be cash flow positive, and, as a bonus, the equipment is still for sale to people who are buying, like the government.

BTW, why do people attack DH because he's Mormon? I don't see other CEOs blasted who are Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim,... Why don't you just leave him alone?
RecordStraight 12/5/2012 | 1:18:42 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring Shazbot,
I don't know if your Beavis or Butthead, but you probably have an IQ equal to them. You can't even spell "Cornholio"
jim_smith 12/5/2012 | 1:18:29 AM
re: Computer Error Sends Stocks Soaring You can't even spell "Cornholio"

I think the poster left out the "o" for a reason. Let's see if you can figure that out, cornhole!
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