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Anyone suspecting that Thursday afternoon's stock market dive bomb was more about a technical glitch than a frenzied exit by rational investors can point to this little oddity: Accenture PLC, the global management and technology consulting services company, saw its shares fall to a mere penny on the New York Stock Exchange.

No, this is not a penny stock. The shares began the day at $41.94 (U.S.), meaning that the sudden drop to virtually nothing erased nearly $27-billion from the company's market capitalization in the space of a split second. The shares have since recovered to about $41.

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