This is how jittery financial markets are, in one chart

April 23, 2013

The stock market briefly plummeted Tuesday afternoon after a bogus tweet sent Wall Street into a temporary tailspin, a sign of the fragile state of market psychology and the susceptibility of even the multi-trillion dollar financial markets to bad information.

The official Twitter account of the Associated Press was hacked, the AP reported, and the hacker tweeted out “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured."

This is how the stock market reacted:


At 1:07 p.m., the Standard & Poor's 500 index and other major indexes plummeted, before the rebound started at 1:10 p.m., when word began to circulate that the AP tweet was a hoax and the White House was unharmed.

"The president is fine, I was just with him," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Correction: An earlier version of this post had incorrect language on the AP Tweet and inaccurately said there was an image attached.

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Sarah Kliff · April 23, 2013