Nasdaq breakdown ramps pressure to take actions

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Associated Press

Posted on August 23, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 23 at 3:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators are likely to take a closer look after the latest electronic glitch in the world of high-tech trading that brought the Nasdaq to a halt for several hours.

Thursday's incident also increases pressure on electronic exchanges to take steps to avoid future breakdowns and manage them better if they do occur.

Stock trading now relies heavily on computer systems that exploit split-penny price differences. Stocks can be traded in fractions of a second, often by automated programs. That makes the markets more vulnerable to technical failures.

Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland, says regulators need to slow down automated trading by requiring trades to be placed "with human input."

The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission says she will work to finalize SEC rules that would subject U.S. exchanges to tighter oversight of automated trading.

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