United Shares Dive 99.92% on False Bankruptcy Report

6-year-old story posted on newspaper site picked up across financial world
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2008 12:49 PM CDT
"United has demanded a retraction from the Sun Sentinel and is launching an investigation," the airline said today in a statement.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Trading in United Airlines shares was halted today on the New York Stock Exchange after a false bankruptcy report made them nearly worthless, the New York Times reports. At one point, the airlines’ shares fell 99.92%, to a single cent, after a reporter incorrectly republished a 6-year-old story about United’s original bankruptcy filing on Bloomberg.

A spokesman for United said the report was “completely untrue.” Trading resumed after the company issued a full statement; the stock was back up to $11.60 by mid-afternoon after beginning the day at $12.29. According to United, the reporter who posted the story on Bloomberg found it on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s website via a Google search.