After the official Associated Press Twitter account was hacked and spread false news of a White House bombing this afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged.
The markets returned to normal after about five minutes, however. The price of crude oil fell, then rose again. The 10-year Treasury note bond's yield also briefly dropped as traders moved money into low-risk investments.
The AP's main account, which has now been suspended, tweeted some alarming news just after 1 p.m. EST that took the internet by storm:
The news agency swiftly put out a story stating that the information contained in the tweet was false, explaining that its account had been hacked.
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The misinformation, however, was retweeted at least 3,000 times before the AP issued the retraction, causing the Dow to plunge, and many took note of the sharp downturn.
"We saw a huge dip in the futures, immediately starting as headlines went out that the AP Twitter feed was reporting on the White House incident," Dave Lutz, head of exchange-traded fund trading and strategy at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Baltimore, told Bloomberg by email. "That spread quickly but we advised clients there was no confirmation from the White House or any of the other news outlets."