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Anatomy of the Flash Crash: 15 Minutes of Market Madness

Friday, 6 May 2011 | 11:19 AM ET

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the flash crash, the infamous day—May 6, 2010—when the Dow plunged 998.62 points or 9.2 percent and within minutes erased most of its losses.

Flash Crash: One Year Later - A CNBC Special Report
Flash Crash: One Year Later - A CNBC Special Report

It was the biggest one-day point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average history, and the second-largest point swing (high to low), with a move of 1,010.14 points.


With data from Thomson Reuters, CNBC.com looked into the numbers to see how the Dow traded a few minutes prior and after reaching its lowest point of the session, 9,869.62.

In the first half of the trading session on May 6, 2010, the Dow started to gradually decline.

But it wasn't until 2:27 PM EST when the selling picked up steam.

By 2:45 PM, the index fell in triple digit increments. In fact, within three minutes, the Dow had lost 433 points.

But within a minute of touching its lowest point of the session, the Dow jumped 305.7 points, or 3.10 percent.

By 2:57 PM the market had recovered 619.42 points or 6.28 percent.

So what exactly caused the flash crash? The CFTC and SEC released a summary of the events that may have caused the flash crash.

And CNBC's Bob Pisani explains in great detail some of the new rules implementedin an effort to prevent any sudden market selloffs.



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