Stock markets momentarily plunged after a tweet sent by the Twitter account of the Associated Press, which was apparently hacked, erroneously reported that explosions at the White House had injured US president Barack Obama.
AP staff have confirmed that the tweet was “bogus,” and the @AP account has been suspended. Here is a screenshot of the tweet:
The Dow fell 146 points before recovering almost immediately. The S&P 500, which was hovering around 1576 before the mischievous tweet hit, tumbled by 0.8% in a matter of moments, falling to nearly 1563 at 1:10 p.m. EST. It bounced sharply higher after it became known that the tweet was erroneous.
In a knee jerk move, the CBOE Volatility Index, or Vix—the so-called fear gauge of the US stock market—shot sharply higher.
Gold, which has looked especially weak this month, got a brief, short-lived lift on the false report. But the move was far less extreme than that seen in the stock market.