>>Aside from the principle of the thing, who was hurt by this? If no-one, why should the SEC (or anyone else) care?<<
Every long investor was hurt. First, if you think about it, a rapid drop at the close sends two very poisonous messages. One is that some bad news may have suddenly come out, or that a large holder decided to suddenly dump a big block, for whatever reason.
Second is that, especially on an Options expiration day, the stock is subject to manipulation by the market maker, possibly to protect a position that he or his "specialist firm" have on. That is a very big deal indeed, and makes call holders, of which I am one, feel that the game may be rigged against them. That is why I have followed up today with the SEC, who asked me to write them a formal letter of complaint, and also suggested that I contact AMEX for the same purpose, i.e. to register a complaint and allow their internal people to have a look at the situation. And I am also doing that in just a few minutes.
I will post any results of my efforts to put an end to this type of nonsense.
Before contacting the SEC and after talking to my broker, I emailed DVN IR on Friday...below is my email and the interim response I received today. I, of course, am cutting out all names.
When IR gives me a final response, I will post that also......jm
my email: <<<Re: 4:04 PM EDT on Friday:<<<
I have been actively trading stocks since 1965 and have seen some interesting transactions during those 40 years. With DVN progessing in price in an orderly fashion with almost 1.5 million shares already traded for the day at 4:00 PM on Friday, I would really like a reasonable explanation just how approximately 400K shares crossed at 4:04 with over a $1.20 gap to the downside from the previous tic. 1. I have contacted my broker, Fidelity Investments, and they were unable to provide a plausible explanation. 2. I plan to follow-up with the SEC next week. 3. If this is an AMEX related problem, consider having DVN join the 21st Century and GET THE HELL OFF THE AMEX!!!
I am disgusted! I will pursue this matter! If you have a legitimate explanation, please forward it to me soon.
If the stock moved higher based on a positive report by GoSachs on good prospects for Barnett Shale, but then a negative report follows and is conveyed to their larger institutional clients before release to the general investing public, allowing the big boys to dump, you tell me who gets hurt. Maybe this is much ado about nothing. But after the events of the past few years, do you trust them?