For Robert Strickland, senior vice president and director of investor relations at Wells Fargo & Co., it's normally a good day when shares of the $218 billion-asset banking company are up almost 6%.

But not Thursday. On the NYSE, the stock was actually down 31.25 cents, putting Mr. Strickland in strange position of having to telephone a score of sell-side analysts and inform them that what looked like a rise in stock price was really a mirage.

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