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SEC Investigating Trading of BP Shares After Gulf Explosion

Reported by Kate Kelly, written by Gennine Kelly
Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010 | 12:54 PM ET

The SEC is probing, according to people familiar with the matter, whether there may have been irregular trading that went on in BP shares.

A truck enters a BP chemical plant near Hitchcock, Texas
Pat Sullivan
A truck enters a BP chemical plant near Hitchcock, Texas

The SEC is closely looking at dates between April 20—when the oil explosion happened in the Gulf of Mexico—and late June—when the company was deeply engaged in trying to cap the oil well.

The probe focuses on whether or not third parties, such as hedge funds, were trading in a way that indicated they had insider information about the success or failure of BP's efforts to stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico?

BP's second quarter results, released yesterday, had a short disclosure on page 40, which simply said that the SEC and Department of Justice (DOJ) were investing some securities matters related to the company. This raised a lot of questions.

More updates as they become available.

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Programming note: "The Strategy Session," hosted by David Faber and Gary Kaminsky, airs weekdays at Noon ET on CNBC.

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