Intel Share Rebound Triggered Circuit Breaker Halt

Trading in Intel Corp. was halted today under circuit breakers designed to limit price volatility after the shares plunged and then rebounded following the company’s sales forecast.

Intel, the world’s biggest chipmaker, was paused twice, first at 9:58 a.m. for news, then after the stock jumped 10 percent moments after the first halt concluded. The second pause came after a two-second period in which more than 680,000 shares changed hands -- including three trades totaling 1,100 shares that occurred about 8 percent below the rest.

The circuit breaker halt followed the rebound from those trades, which set the low price of the day at $16.55 and were later canceled. The transactions were on the NYSE Arca exchange.

“It was interesting -- the stock halted, it resumed and circuit breakers kicked in,” said Frank Ingarra, a Stamford, Connecticut-based money manager at Hennessy Advisors Inc., which oversees about $850 million. “Obviously there was some error there or initial reaction that was wrong.”

The stock was up 0.1 percent to $18.25 at 11:20 a.m. in New York. The company said it expects to report sales of $11 billion plus or minus $200 million, compared with a previously forecast range of $11.2 billion to $12 billion, according to a statement today. Analysts predicted $11.5 billion, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Gross margin, a key measure of profitability, will be 66 percent, plus or minus a point, compared with a previous forecast of 67 percent, plus or minus a couple of points.

The first halt coincided with the release of that news. Trading resumed at 10:14:59 a.m. when 453,100 shares executed at $18.05 on Nasdaq in an electronic auction.

The second curb halted trading for five minutes. Shares reopened at 10:22:01 a.m. when Nasdaq executed 232,400 shares at $18.18. The $16.55 trades were the only transactions today that occurred below $17.80.

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