E*Trade shares sank Thursday after the online brokerage said one of its biggest investors would sell its stake.
Chicago based hedge fund Citadel plans to sell more than 27 million E*Trade shares in a sale set to occur next week.
That sent shares of E*Trade (ETFC) down 7.5% to $10.93 in afternoon trading.
The news that Citadel was selling its 9% stake in E*Trade signaled to investors that the brokerage will not be put up for sale anytime soon.
Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin had been pushing the company in that direction. Griffin set up a committee in 2011 to explore "strategic alternatives," including a sale.
E*Trade is the third-largest publicly traded online brokerage firm, behind Charles Schwab (SCHW) and TD Ameritrade (AMTD). But the company's mortgage business has struggled in the years since the housing crisis.
Despite Thursday's sell-off, shares of E*Trade are up nearly 23% so far this year. But the stock still remains well below its highs from 2007, when it traded above $250 a share.
Meanwhile, the significance of Griffin's move was clear to some traders on StockTwits.
That could explain the strange odor some traders have detected.
Others see an ulterior motive for Citadel.
Whatever the case may be, it's safe to say the E*Trade spokes-baby is not happy.
Knight Capital, once one of the fiercest critics of Nasdaq's Facebook compensation plan, has done a 180-degree turn.
"We support Nasdaq's efforts to reimburse its member firms for losses caused by Nasdaq's actions and decisions during the first day of trading in FB," Leonard Amoruso, Knight's general counsel, wrote in a letter to the SEC late Wednesday.
No one expected Facebook (FB) to debut at the opening bell on May 18, but MORECatherine Tymkiw - Aug 30, 2012 2:44 PM ET
Nasdaq can't seem to put the Facebook IPO debacle behind it.
Shortly after the botched IPO, Nasdaq proposed a $40 million settlement to compensate brokers who were affected by trading glitches on Facebook's opening day (May 18).
Nasdaq (NDAQ) upped that figure to $62 million in mid-July, and Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld called it "definitive" during a July 25 conference call with analysts.
Citigroup (C) and UBS (UBS) have come out swinging. In MOREMaureen Farrell - Aug 23, 2012 12:33 PM ET
Hedge funds are betting on a disaster hitting the financial markets within the next several quarters, with managers holding onto historic levels of cash.
That so-called dry powder gives them the cash they need to quickly jump in if markets sell off, according to numerous hedge fund managers and industry consultants.
"Most hedge funds I see are carrying lower market exposure than I've seen in some time," said Brad Balter, MOREMaureen Farrell - Aug 23, 2012 8:01 AM ET
E*Trade is looking for a new chief executive.
The online brokerage firm said Thursday that CEO Steven Freiberg has left the company as it works on strengthening its financial position. Last month, E*Trade reported a 24% drop in second-quarter earnings to $35.9 million, or 14 cents per share.
The company did not say why Freiberg left the company but E*Trade has been struggling for years with losses on mortgage-related assets and the continued MOREBen Rooney - Aug 9, 2012 1:22 PM ET
UBS said Tuesday that it lost $356 million on Facebook's IPO due to Nasdaq's trading glitches during the company's market debut in May -- and it plans to sue the stock exchange for every cent of it.
"UBS's loss resulted from NASDAQ's multiple failures to carry out its obligations, including both opening the Facebook (FB) stock for trading and not halting trading in the stock during the day," said UBS in MOREHibah Yousuf - Jul 31, 2012 2:16 PM ET
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