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Some Stocks Listed Incorrectly on Errors

December 2, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A handful of stocks were listed at grossly inflated prices on the Web sites of some news organizations and brokerages over the weekend due to the error of several data distributors, the New York Stock Exchange said Monday.

Raymond Pellecchia, spokesman for the exchange, said several vendors whom he would not name mistakenly transmitted numbers while the data distribution system was being tested Friday night. That resulted in test figures appearing on several Web sites from about 8 p.m. Friday to 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

The listings included General Electric, which closed at $27.10 Friday but was quoted at $919, and Eli Lilly, which fell 70 cents to $68.30, but was listed as climbing $800 for the day. Prices for Kmart and AOL Time Warner were also misstated.

One of the news organizations affected was CBS MarketWatch, which in turn supplied the incorrect information to publications such as The New York Times and USA Today, as well as brokerages Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

The stocks listed incorrectly ``appear to be a small number,″ said Dan Silmore, director of marketing at CBS MarketWatch.

The Associated Press, which does not provide late-night feeds and filters its stock data, was not affected by the problem.

The NYSE said the system, which is run by the Consolidated Tape Association, is tested every night. But Friday’s shortened trading day, when the stock market closed at 1 p.m., may have confused some vendors.

The vendors either did not heed ``more than 10 messages (indicating) testing that would begin at 5 p.m. _ messages that were transmitted before and after trading took place on Friday″ or they failed to adjust their automatic feeds to account for the shorter trading day, Pellecchia said.

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