Trading at the NYSE Euronext’s NYSE MKT exchange was halted briefly today. What is important here is not that the trading halt barely last two minutes, but that more than 400 symbols were temporarily unavailable for trading. This is not a miniature flash crash but an unavailable crash for electronic traders.
Trading issues come up from time to time and they will likely only keep coming up in the future. No matter how much effort the exchanges take, there is just a myriad of things that can wrong with electronic trading systems. Most technology workers know by now that what can go wrong will go wrong. The trick is to keep the instances of failure to a minimum.
The NYSE MKT trading unit said, “The NYSE MKT cash equities market resolved an issue that occurred between 13:15:22 and 13:17:23. Order processing and trade execution in the NYSE MKT’s 446 symbols were temporarily unavailable. All NYSE MKT trading systems are functioning normally.”
The reality is that this is not one of those instances where the nuisance likely resulted in catastrophic financial failure because there was not much happening in the market at the time. Still, investors remain on shaky ground and trusting financial markets is still very toughy for many investors.