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Stupid Traders and Automated News Crawling evaporates $1.14 Billion...well, actually $300 Million

United Airlines stock tanks due to automated traders relying on faulty news headlines

South Florida Sun-Sentinel posts an old article from 2002 about United Airlines declaring bankruptcy, but forget to put a date on it.

Google News crawls the website and sees the "new" article and adds it to Google News for today since it isn't back dated.

All the other major news aggregation websites pick up the story from Google News.

Stock Trader Robots! .. crawl these news websites looking for headlines and see "UAL declares bankruptcy" and automatically trigger stock sales of UAL stock.

UAL's stock drops from $12 to $3, costing the company $1.14 BILLION. The problem was identified pretty quickly and the stock rose back to $10 within the day. However, only coming back to $10 (and it's still around that level as I type this) means that the company's market cap dropped by $300 Million.

I, for one, welcome our new Stock Trading Robot Overlords.

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