Chaos at the Close

The amazing ramp of ABRX brings to light a larger issue about extending trading hours.
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You will hear plenty of theories about why ABR Information Services (ABRX) , that fluke that was up 200% at the bell last night, ramped the way it did. ABRX, for those on Mars, was the stub of a stock being bought by Ceridian (CEN) - Get Report for $25 a share and change (the remaining shares that had not been tendered). It went out at 90 last night, as someone frantically bought 85,000 shares.

Ridiculous, but true. A real Ripley's.

One theory, propounded by my friend

David Faber



, has it that ABRX may have been part of some reweighting of the


that occurred last night.

That's wrong.

Here is what I think may have happened. I think that people bought the wrong stock. I think that maybe they may have meant to buy



and just made a symbol error. ABRX wasn't being added to the Russell that I can tell, so that explanation doesn't hold water.


The larger issue here, of course, is that if the


and the


want to extend hours, they ought to try to do it at the end of these quarters as a trial. The chaos yesterday was positively Saigon-like, circa 1975. Some of these specialists got on the helicopters from the embassy.

The public didn't.

It was an outrage.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at