So I got curious after my previous post on all the folks mistakenly buying near-dead stock Tweeter, apparently thinking it was Twitter (which hasn't even had an IPO yet). Are people really that careless (a diplomatic way of putting it)? Or is there something else at work here, such that what appears to be a mistake is actually the work of highly refined minds? Minds who understand that, over time, there may be enough mistaken purchases of Tweeter to justify an investment.
I did some quick research on how often a stock spikes when it is apparently mistaken for another stock. I did not find much but the phenomenon is certainly not unheard of. It is sometimes referred to as a "fat finger error." Here is a link to an article discussing a spike in a Chinese stock when an investor apparently confused very similar ticker numbers:
But it is likely more than just a clumsy mistake in many instances. I noticed that sometimes the press gets a ticker symbol wrong in an article. One can imagine that some readers would be impressed by the company discussed and then cut and paste the mistaken ticker into their online broker's "buy" form.
At the end of the day, we do not know what the real cause of the Tweeter spike was but it does raise some interesting questions.