Berkshire Hathaway stock no longer appears down 100% as NYSE fixes glitch

Investing

A glitch caused trading websites to display a near 100% loss for Berkshire Hathaway shares for much of Monday morning, falsely suggesting the conglomerate helmed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett went from a market capitalization of almost $900 billion to below $1 billion—but the error was later fixed.
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Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate helmed by billionaire Warren Buffett, did not in fact lose almost its entire $900 billion market capitalization.

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Key Takeaways
  • The erroneous share price and halting of trading was due to a since-resolved “technical issue,” according to a New York Stock Exchange spokesperson, who attributed the problem to inaccurate real-time share price information provided by the modern-day ticker tape provider Consolidated Trade Association, automatically triggering a limit up-limit down pause that occurs when stocks trade outside of a normal bound.
  • The error caused trading platforms and websites to incorrectly display a 99.97% loss for Class A shares of Berkshire, whose less expensive “baby Berkshire” Class B shares were down a far more palatable 1% as its big brother was halted.
  • Other stocks halted due to the error included Chipotle and GameStop and AMC, the latter two of whom were involved in the recent meme stock frenzy.
  • Berkshire stock resumed trading at 11:35 a.m. ET after a nearly two-hour pause.
  • The cause of the glitch is not yet known, but a spokesperson for the NYSE told the Financial Times the exchange does not suspect a cyber attack.
Key Background

Monday morning’s blip displayed Berkshire’s Class A’s share price at $185.10, which would have been its lowest level since 1979, according to FactSet, a fraction of its actual $635,000 share price. Forbes’ real-time billionaires tracker briefly showed Buffett, who is the seventh-richest person in the world, as losing $136 billion on Monday, knocking out almost all of his fortune. A majority of Buffett’s fortune is thanks to his roughly 15% stake in Berkshire, whose holdings include subsidiaries like GEICO and sizable investments in companies like Apple.

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