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NYSE says issue that showed Berkshire Hathaway down 99% is fixed

Traders and floor officials react to technical issues on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on June 3, 2024.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

A technical issue on Monday caused the A-class shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to appear to be down nearly 100% on the New York Stock Exchange for most of the morning trading period.

Trading was halted in those shares, as well as in Barrick Gold and Nuscale Power, which had also seen dramatic falls. All three stocks have since resumed trading. It is unclear exactly how many stocks were affected by the technical issue.

A technical issue caused Berkshire Hathaway A-class shares to incorrectly appear to fall nearly 100% at the New York Stock Exchange stock on June 3, 2024.

Gillian Austin | CNBC

The NYSE said shortly after 11 a.m. ET that the problems stemmed from the price-bands published by the Consolidated Tape Association, the organization used by major exchanges to jointly provide real-time stock quotes. The CTA had reported an earlier failure Monday that caused it to switch over to its disaster recovery center.

The NYSE said at roughly 11:45 a.m. ET that the issues had been resolved and trading was back to normal.

There were less than 4,000 recorded trades on the day for Berkshire’s A-class shares when trading was halted. Trading continued in the B-class shares, which were down less than 1% Monday morning.

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Berkshire Hathaway A shares incorrectly displayed down more than 99%.

The halts did not appear to have a notable effect on the value of the major market averages.

The issues on Monday are another reminder that the exchanges and data providers that are central to Wall Street are not completely error free. Other recent examples include an hourlong freeze for CME index data feeds last week and a Nasdaq system error in December that led to some orders being canceled.

The NYSE also had a day in January 2023 when the opening auctions for some stocks did not occur properly.

On normal days, Berkshire’s original Class A shares carry one of the highest price tags on Wall Street. Last week, each one sold for about 45% more than the median price of a home in the U.S. Class A shares hit an all-time closing high of $634,440 on March 28.

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Berkshire Hathaway’s A-shares appeared to fall sharply on Monday morning due to a technical error.

FactSet

That is because Buffett has never split the stock, as he wants to attract shareholders who are investment-oriented with long-term horizons. The Ben Graham protege has said that many Berkshire shareholders use their stock as a savings account.

Berkshire issued Class B shares in 1996 at a price equal to one-thirtieth of a Class A share to cater to smaller investors wanting a small piece of Buffett’s performance.

Buffett is the largest shareholder of Berkshire, owning more than 38% of Class A shares, according to FactSet. The “Oracle of Omaha” pledged to give away the fortune he built at Berkshire, the Omaha-based conglomerate he has been running since 1965.

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