The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index each fell about 1% before rebounding. A separate Twitter account operated by the AP's corporate communications team followed up minutes later with its own message: "That is a bogus @AP tweet."
The news agency may be the latest victim in a series of hacking cases against news outlets, including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The errant tweet spooked investors eight days after two explosions struck the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 200. U.S. authorities brought charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev yesterday for the attack.
Major marketers have also found their Twitter accounts taken over, with Jeep and Burger King losing control in February.
Paul Colford, a spokesman for the Associated Press, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The AP's main account, @AP, was suspended soon after the false tweet. Another AP account later said that all AP accounts were being suspended:
All, AP's Twitter accounts will be suspended until we can be assured of their security. Do not respond to any news posted by these accounts.— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) April 23, 2013
~ Bloomberg News and Ad Age staff ~