Factual error: The opening shot (of the New York Stock Exchange's trading floor) has the subtitle "1985," which might lead one to expect that at least the action in the first few scenes takes place in the year 1985. However, when Charlie Sheen is talking to his Nimrod broker buddy the Nimrod jokes that the day the Challenger exploded, Gekko was on the phone "selling NASA stock short." The Challenger exploded in January, 1986, not 1985. [An explanation for this: Wall Street, as conceived and filmed, was supposed to be set in 1987. However, near the end of 1986, The Ivan Boesky insider-trading scandal hit, many rules were changed, and acknowledging those events would have undone much of the plotting of the movie. So the movie was shifted back in time to 1985 (before the scandals, and also before the Challenger disaster), thus creating this major goof].
Visible crew/equipment: When Gekko is talking to the Airline board in the apartment, in the shot when he walks in front of the window, a boom mike is seen in its reflection.
Continuity mistake: When Gekko is talking to the board of Blue Star Airlines in Bud's apartment, Michael Douglas is wearing a suit, but white sneakers can be seen on his feet. In the next shot, he is wearing dress shoes.
Continuity mistake: During the fight between Gordon and Bud in Central Park, Bud's raincoat gets soaking wet, then is suspiciously dry a second later. (01:51:20)
Audio problem: Regardless of what he has on his feet, every time Gekko walks there is the sound of shoes on the floor, even when it's clear that he has socks/sneakers on.
Continuity mistake: Look at the reporters gathering quotes after Bud is busted - one recorder has NO tape in it, with the manufacturer labels still on the recorder.
Plot hole: The scene in Central Park where Bud tapes Gekko never would have happened. Gekko's comments imply that he was unaware of Bud's arrest earlier that morning (not just that Gekko was unaware he was being taped). (1) Gekko makes comments that the Feds are pleased with, at least to some extent incriminating himself. (2) Gekko doesn't say something like: "OK, now you've been pinched, here's what you do." BUT - how in the world would Gekko not know of Bud's arrest? Even in the days before the internet, information spread like wildfire on Wall Street. All the brokers in Bud's office would be on the phones saying "they just arrested Gekko's broker!" Everyone on Wall Street, especially someone like Gekko, would find out, and far more quickly than the time it took to schlep Bud up to Central Park and strap a recorder on him.
Continuity mistake: After Bud asks Carl for money at the bar, a friend comes up and Carl shakes his hand. At this time Carl doesn't have glasses on. Bud then asks Carl "How's work been treatin' you." When he asks this the camera angle is over Carl's shoulder and he has glasses on. Then in a front shot, the glasses are in his hand, but there was not enough time for him to take them off. (00:12:10)
Factual error: After Bud's conversation with Gordon in the park he goes to a restaurant bathroom. The agents are waiting for him. He open his shirt, they rip the tape recorder off of him then immediately begin to play the conversation. It picks up right where the evidence is. No one had time to rewind the tape. (01:58:45)
Visible crew/equipment: Toward the end of the film, Bud is talking to Lou Manheim in the office (the thing about money - it makes you do things you don't want to do). They are both in profile, and you can see little microphones clipped behind their ties.
Continuity mistake: In the fight between Gecko and Bud, Geckos jacket keeps changing between being dry, and wet, dry, and wet. (01:51:20)
Continuity mistake: When Gekko's son throws the food at the lawyer, it goes in a downward trajectory, yet it hits the man in his face.
Factual error: Bud Fox is sitting in the limo with the hooker talking about Hewlett Packard stocks. Bud says: "HP...now, let's see. It closed at 41 1/4." HP stock price was nowhere near that price until the 90s.
Continuity mistake: When Gordon and Bud are getting dressed after playing racquetball, Bud is seated with what looks like a can of soda on the bench to his right. He drinks from the can. Less than a minute later when Gordon says, "I've been in this business since '69," Bud drinks from a glass.
Continuity mistake: When Buddy first meets Gordon Gekko, Buddy is depressed as he walks towards the door of Gekko's office. The door is opened, and as Buddy turns to look at Gekko his tie is perfectly placed. In the next camera angle of Buddy walking out of the office his tie is pulled down. (00:20:00)
Factual error: When Bud gives Carl his dividend check for the money he borrowed, they walk by a DC-9 aircraft. That aircraft has the tail number N901AX. The airline is Bluestar. but AX is the suffix for all Airborne Express planes. (01:01:00)
Continuity mistake: When Bud and his father are in the Owl Tavern discussing the FAA ruling for Bluestar, Carl says, "We can go for those new routes to Pittsburgh and Boston now. We're gonna compete with the big guys." With his right hand, Carl drinks some of his beer while his cigarette is left in the ashtray. When the camera angle changes to Bud, his right hand is holding the cigarette. (00:12:20)
Continuity mistake: In the elevator scene at the start of the film, the man with headphones holding a newspaper appears and disappears during different shots. (00:02:00)
Visible crew/equipment: A cameraman with a light coloured, short-sleeved shirt is visible (operating a large camera) when Gordon says "Interesting, got a card?" in Bud's first encounter scene. You can see him on the back wall when you look past Gekko - the wall where the door is located but closer to the main window.
Continuity mistake: The NYSE trader who says "How is Anacott Steel?" is wearing a dark jacket, but in the following montage he is wearing the light colored one he wore later in the film when the Bluestar Airlines stock is traded. (00:35:40 - 00:38:00)