Op art: 10 seconds of Apple trades after Q3 earnings report

July 27, 2012, 11:21 AM UTC

2,178 quotes and 1,104 trades in 10 seconds, 25 milliseconds. Click to enlarge. Source: NANEX

FORTUNE — The image above shows real-time data for the first 10 seconds of trading in Apple (AAPL) starting at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, July 25, the first chance the full NASDAQ had to react to Apple’s disappointing Q3 earnings report.

It was created by NANEX using tools developed to analyze the 2010 flash crash.

To give you some context, what you are seeing is the bottom of the vertical line in the chart at right, blown up to show the finest possible detail, down to each individual trade.

Given that 1,104 trades were conducted in the space of 10.025 seconds, it’s fair to assume that the work was being done automatically, by computers running high-frequency trading algorithms.

Keep that in mind next time you try to time a trade to get the best possible price.

For a guide on how to read the chart, click here.

Via Investor Village’s AAPL Sanity.