Twitter-Tweeter Confusion Forces Stock Symbol Change

PHOTO: The high end electronics store, Tweeter, posts a closing sign in their window, Nov. 11, 2008, at their Manassas, Va., store.

Want to buy stock in Twitter? Don't buy Tweeter by mistake. Or, for that matter, Teeter.

The social network juggernaut has yet to make its public stock offering. But that hasn't prevented over-eager buyers from trying to buy the shares anyway. Problem is, a lot of them have bought stock in the wrong company—Tweeter.

The stock of Tweeter Home Entertainment Group shot up almost 700 percent on Friday—the day after Twitter's IPO filing became public--as buyers mistook Tweeter's ticker symbol, TWTRQ, with Twitter's, TWTR.

What buyers bought were shares in a defunct Massachusetts retailer of electronics that closed up shop in 2008. Its stock today is traded only over the counter.


Bloomberg says more than 14.3 million Tweeter shares changed hands—the most trades Tweeter had enjoyed since 2007.

To prevent further confusion, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) stepped in Friday and suspended trading in Tweeter. Yesterday FINRA changed Tweet's ticker symbol to THEGQ.

FINRA said it changed the symbol to avoid "further confusion" following "a widespread misunderstanding related to the possible initial public offering of an unrelated security."

Trading in Tweeter resumed yesterday. The stock plunged 73 percent, closing at $0.014.

Then again, there's Teeter: Harris Teeter.

The southeast supermarket chain's trading symbol had been HTSI. But you're protected against buying that, because Teeter was acquired by Kroger July 9.

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