American Electric Power Plunges 54% at Open, Then Recovers

American Electric Power Co. (AEP), a Columbus, Ohio-based utilities company, plunged 54 percent in the first second of trading before recovering.

American Electric Power fell as much as $26.31 to $22.28 a share as the market opened today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares rebounded, trading down 1.6 percent to $47.82 as of 10:21 a.m. in New York. NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE), which sells electric energy, sank as much as 62 percent to $30.37. The shares bounced back, with a 1.7 percent loss to $77.85.

The trades weren’t subject to the new system of limiting swings in individual stocks on American exchanges, a program known as limit-up/limit-down, because they came before 9:45 a.m. New York time, before the restrictions begin. The changes are going into effect gradually for stocks and will be expanded to the full trading day in August.

Under limit-up/limit-down, trades aren’t allowed to occur at more-than-specified percentages above or below a stock’s rolling five-minute average price.

Rich Adamonis, a spokesman for NYSE Euronext, where the shares are listed, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and an e-mail requesting comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney Kisling in New York at wkisling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net

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