On May 6, 2010, U.S. stock markets opened and the Dow was down, and trended that way for most of the day on worries about the debt crisis in Greece. At 2:42 p.m., with the Dow down more than 300 points for the day, the equity market began to fall rapidly, dropping an additional 600 points in 5 minutes for a loss of nearly 1,000 points for the day by 2:47 p.m. Twenty minutes later, by 3:07 p.m., the market had regained most of the 600-point drop.:1
Stock market crashes are social phenomena where external economic events combine with crowd behavior and psychology in a positive feedback loop where selling by some market participants drives more market participants to sell. Generally speaking, crashes usually occur under the following conditions: a prolonged period of rising stock prices and excessive economic optimism, a market where P/E ratios (Price-Earning ratio) exceed long-term averages, and extensive use of margin debt and leverage by market participants. Other aspects such as wars, large-corporation hacks, changes in federal laws and regulations, and natural disasters of highly economically productive areas may also influence a significant decline in the NYSE value of a wide range of stocks. All such stock drops may result in the rise of stock prices for corporations competing against the affected corporations.
The increase in internet trading also led to the crash of 2000. The internet served an easy access to trading for a lot of traders who lacked the required experience. Their trial and error methods of trading lead to losses in the stock trading market. Another supposed reason is that the research firms had a conflict of interest. The investment bankers had the research firms put not so honest ratings on the stocks, thus leading to an overall loss of wealth in the market.
A second, highly visible result of the crash was the advancement of measures to control third-party development of software. Using secrecy to combat industrial espionage had failed to stop rival companies from reverse engineering the Mattel and Atari systems and hiring away their trained game programmers. While Mattel and Coleco implemented lockout measures to control third-party development (the ColecoVision BIOS checked for a copyright string on power-up), the Atari 2600 was completely unprotected and once information on its hardware became available, little prevented anyone from making games for the system. Nintendo thus instituted a strict licensing policy for the NES that included equipping the cartridge and console with lockout chips, which were region-specific, and had to match in order for a game to work. In addition to preventing the use of unlicensed games, it also was designed to combat software piracy, rarely a problem in the United States or Western Europe, but rampant in East Asia.