Shares in defunct retailer Tweeter skyrocket 1,800% after investors confuse it with social media giant Twitter

Overzealous investors mistake retailer's stock market symbol spelling with that of the popular microblogging platform

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The Independent Online

Shares in bankrupt electronics retailer Tweeter shot up by 1,800 per cent on Friday after overzealous investors believed they were buying shares in social media giant Twitter.

Would-be investors confused the spelling of the defunct retailer's stock market symbol, or ticker - TWTRQ - with the intended ticker of the micro-blogging site, TWTR, after the latter announced that it will be floating shares to the public for the first time.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra), the sector's self-regulatory body, ordered the suspension of shares in Tweeter on Friday afternoon, announcing that, “an extraordinary event has occurred or is ongoing that has had a material effect on the market” for Tweeter shares.

The failed retail chain, known as Tweeter Home Entertainment, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2008 and closed its stores shortly afterwards, saw its share price surge to 15 cents with Twitter's announcement that it would sell shares to raise $1 billion on the US stock markets.

While Twitter announced its intention to make an initial public offering (IPO) on 4 October, the tech company has not yet begun to market its share sale, which is unlikely to go ahead until at least November at the earliest.

Although it closed its doors almost five years ago, Tweeter still exists as a shell company.

A similar mix-up caused Tweeter's share price to jump by fractions of a cent when the social networking site dislcosed that it had filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US financial regulator about its IPO plans. The share price soon went back down.