About all that trading after the bell…

High-speed traders may no longer be able to count on Warren Buffett’s Business Wire for direct feeds to market-moving information. But that doesn’t mean the problem of trades taking place with after-market press releases but before the US market is officially closed has been solved.

Take the case of Acacia Research Corp, which trades as ACTG. According to Nanex, the market data company, a batch of suspicious trades began to take place 127 milliseconds after 4pm on Thursday. Those trades are highlighted in yellow here. Click to enlarge. Read more

Millisecond data disputes, part 2.0000000100

You’ll recall the recent brouhaha over whether the Federal Reserve’s decision to not ‘taper’ was transmitted to or received unfairly by high-frequency trading companies.

There’s been a new development, but first a quick refresher. Read more

I see your millisecond study, and raise you my millisecond study

The world of milliseconds is getting unusual attention this week.

A report by Chicago-based market research firm Nanex argued that trade data showed that asset prices in New York and Chicago moved at exactly 2pm last Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve released its decision on monetary policy. Read more

Reuters/UMich, and ‘the public interest’

A big tip of the hat to James Politi, the FT’s man in Washington, for tracking down the letter below…

Chuck Grassley, the high-ranking Senate Republican from Iowa, has a hunch that those exclusive two seconds of early Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment data might not have been, well, in the public interest, given the involvement of a public university. Read more

PETActivism

An upsized IPO offering that raised $700m+.

A first-day pop of 25 per cent at pixel time.

A return of more than 2.5 times Blackstone’s investment.

It’s certainly been a good week for the management of SeaWorld and its private-equity backers. But one new shareholder in the newly public aquatic theme-park group is already shaping up to be a nuisance. Read more

A $200m Friday afternoon JNK sale

Further to our markets story from earlier this week (Investors ready for high-yield selloff), a massive $200m block of 5m shares in State Street’s SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond Fund ETF crossed the market this afternoon. According to one source, an ETF market-maker, the transaction came from one seller. (see graph/arrow). Read more

“We’re from the SEC. Now give us all the money.”

Just make sure you check their badges first. SEC people carry badges, right? …

SEC staff is issuing this updated Investor Alert because we are aware of continuing fraudulent solicitations that purport to be affiliated with or sponsored by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commission staff, as well as particular Commissioners (including a recent bogus email scam using the name of Commissioner Daniel Gallagher). Read more

Another day, another dollar (thrifty)

High-speed trading critics are abuzz this morning as an apparent mini-flash crash took place in shares of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. The car rental company fell as much as five per cent in matter of a minutes before recovering. Read more

The Romney InTrade blip

Election watchers and political junkies who obsessively study every poll or other releases of electoral data must have had a moment of consternation this morning as they checked Intrade, the online prediction market.

Despite the widespread perception that President Barack Obama got the better of Mitt Romney in last night’s televised debate, the Intrade market pegging Romney’s chances of winning the election spiked from roughly 41 per cent to nearly 49 per cent in just a few minutes early Tuesday morning. The prediction market then swung back in Obama’s direction within minutes, and is now roughly where it started the day. Read more