A positive and very substantial article by Dow Jones News Service writer Norval Scott (see earlier post) failed to move ERHC's share price significantly, but volume jumped from an extremely slow 4,900 shares in the first half hour to finish at 2,487,172 by the 4pm EST New York market close.
The reason for the very modest gain was widely debated on Raging Bull, with most posters attributing it to market makers trying to cover short positions or large shareholders selling into the story. Many posters took issue with both explanations.
Meanwhile, the SEC has been asked to investigate the failure of several major stock brokerages to move the Dow Jones story with standard breaking news alerts on their Websites, even as some buyers obviously had the news and began purchasing large blocks.
ERHC On The Move was told by Dow Jones Vice President Robert Christie that a thorough check revealed the story had gone out. However, he said he did not know if a check was made to see if it was received.
[Only one link to the story, at the Schlumberger oil services firm Website, had been found by early Saturday morning. That link is at http://www.schlumberger.com/news/story.cfm?storyid=625140.]
On the premium Power E*Trade site, for instance, which includes the Dow Jones service, no story came up for ERHC even six hours after its apparent release.
On Raging Bull's ERHC message board, links to the story were still not available at 4pm. The Raging Bull board was impossible to reach during much of the day.
At E*Trade, a Website technician was unable to find the story on any trusted site, such as Yahoo or Bloomberg. It also did not appear on ERHC's own Website, although company officials including CEO Ali Memon were quoted in the story. Another E*Trade customer service person said he also failed to find it hours later.
The untimely or early release of a significant news story concerning a U.S. security that makes it available to some investors before others may be a felony under U.S. law (the story originated in London from A U.S.-based firm.) A person responsible for deliberately delaying its delivery for monetary gain is subject to prosecution.
ERHC On The Move posted it at 10:47 EST with no link, having obtained it from the RB message board. Judging from the slow response of the server at times, it appeared that there were many readers here seeking the news.
Author Norval Scott also assured investors by email that it had run on the company's news wires.
By the 4pm EST close, the stock was trading at $0.505, barely $0.025 better than the $0.48 open. The high of the day was reached at 3:59:17, when a block of 100,000 shares were purchased at $0.518.
At Dow Jones, Christie could not explain why it was not available at online brokerage sites ranging from E*Trade, Ameritrade, Bloomberg.com, and Yahoo to Scottrade.com, Telerate and CBS Marketwatch.com, as well as The New York Times online Business page. He referred a caller to another person, Eva Frohman, who did not return calls before post time.