CNBC incorrectly reported on air and on Twitter that billionaire George Soros sold all of his stock in J.C. Penney this week.
CNBC corrected its error to reflect that not only did Soros not sell all of his shares but he actually bought two million more shares. According to a CNBC story, Soros is the “second largest shareholder” in the company.
A CNBC spokesperson confirmed to iMediaEthics that the error was corrected both on air and on Twitter.
The on-air correction said in part:
“We told you that [Soros] cut his stake entirely. Actually there was an error in th format of the filing and it turns out it is not in alphabetical order. But there is still a holding, he increased by 2 million shares. He has 19 million in JC Penney. So that’s probably why the stock is rising. Wanted to clear up any confusion there, we apologize for that error, but George Soros does have 19 million shares of JC Penney.”
Check out video of the correction below.
CNBC also posted a corrective tweet.
CORRECTION: Soros adds to his J.C. Penney stake; Soros adds 2M shares to his stake of J.C. Penney. $JCP
— CNBC (@CNBC) August 14, 2013
The incorrect tweet isn’t on Twitter anymore. A CNBC spokesperson confirmed to iMediaEthics that it deleted the tweet “because the tweet contained bad information about a publicly traded stock and we were still in the post-market trading period.”
But, the error made it past CNBC to at least one news outlet. Quartz, which identifies itself as a “global business news outlet” had re-reported CNBC’s claim and also posted a correction on Twitter.
Correction: George Soros has added 2 million shares to his stake in JC Penney. CNBC inaccurately reported that he sold his entire stake.
— Quartz (@qz) August 14, 2013
As Circa news director David Cohen pointed out on Twitter and illustrated with a screenshot, it took six minutes for the error to be corrected. When it comes to the stock market, those six minutes are a long time.
Back in April, after the news broke that Soros had “taken a large stake in the retailer,” J.C. Penney’s “shares finished up 11.6%,” CNN Money reported.
Hat Tip: Digidave