Wall Street trading in turmoil as Nasdaq market freezes amid glitches

Apple and Microsoft hit for hours in second New York trading mess this week

New York

Trading in some of America's largest companies, including Apple and Microsoft, was halted yesterday afternoon following a technical glitch that paralysed the Nasdaq market, disrupting the exchange for over three hours.

The glitch, an embarrassing set-back for America's second largest stock exchange, occurred shorty after noon. A notice to traders sent out at 12.14pm eastern standard time alerted them to the unusual suspension, telling them that trading in thousands of Nasdaq-listed securities had been halted until further notice.

The outage brought trading in stocks, exchanged-traded funds and options to a complete standstill. NYSE Euronext, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, also suspended trading in Nasdaq-listed securities at the request of the troubled exchange, which pointed to a problem in the distribution of quotes. The halt left the Nasdaq composite index stuck at 3631.17. The index eventually began to move again at around 3.25pm eastern standard time. It closed around a per cent higher at 3638.71.

Earlier, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US market regulator, said it was looking into the problem. Nasdaq OMX, the parent company of the troubled exchange, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The blackout is the latest in a series of high-profile glitches to hit American markets. Only days ago, a glitch was reported to be behind mistaken stock option trades sent out by Goldman Sachs. The Nasdaq exchange, meanwhile, found itself under a harsh spotlight last year over Facebook's listing. Technical problems affecting the social network's market debut led to millions of dollars worth of losses for Wall Street firms, and eventually resulted in the SEC slapping a record $10m fine on the exchange. The regulator blamed the exchange violations resulting from "its poor systems and decision making" during the IPO, one of the most high-profile in recent years. Nasdaq's chief executive, Robert Greifeld, saw his bonus for 2012 cut by over 60 per cent as a result of problems connected to the listing.

Perhaps the most prominent market-wide glitch was in 2010, when a computer error sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by some 700 points in a matter of minutes. At one point, the benchmark US stock index was around a 1,000 points lower, panicking investors around the globe.

Stephen Massocca, a managing director at Wedbush Equity Management in San Francisco said the fact that the Nasdaq glitch had occurred in late August, a time when many market participants are on their summer break, meant that it "might have little, if any impact." However, he said it raised questions about the way trading and exchanges were run. "Clearly as we continue to eliminate human beings from the execution of security trading, this is the problem you run into," he told Reuters.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Sheridan Maine: Financial Accountant

£150 - £190 Daily Rate: Sheridan Maine: One of London's leading water supplier...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor