NASDAQ Downed By Technical Issue


Trading on the NASDAQ in New York was suspended for a time on Thursday thanks to a ‘glitch’

Trading in tech shares was halted for a time in New York on Thursday after a “glitch” downed the NASDAQ exchange.

New York’s second largest financial exchange halted all trading on Thursday, as a technical issue raised alarm bells about the integrity of the stock quote system.

Trading Halted

The NASDAQ Exchange halted trading at 12:20pm EDT. A market summary note on posted at 12:35pm EDT referred to the issue as an “apparent glitch.”

Facebook IPO © lev radin, Shutterstock 2012That glitch is tied to the NASDAQ Unlisted Trading Privileges (UTP) Securities Information Processor (SIP) quote dissemination system.

“Due to an issue at the UTP SIP affecting quote dissemination, NASDAQ has implemented a regulatory halt for trading in all Tape C securities until further notice,” a NASDAQ Market System Status stated.

NASDAQ’s market system status first reported “momentary interruptions” at 11:45am EDT. At that time, the market said the interruptions lasted from approximately 10:57 to 11:03am EDT and were resolved with the system operating normally at 11:45am. At 12:09pm, NASDAQ warned that it was experiencing quote submission issues with the UTP SIP.

As of 1:30pm EDT, NASDAQ has not yet restarted the market. The exchanged did post a market system status note indicating that when it does reopen trading, there will be a five-minute quote-only period.

“Additionally, NASDAQ will clear all stale quotes from the UTP SIP prior to the commencement of trading,” NASDAQ stated.

Root Cause

The outage at NASDAQ is perhaps the largest halt in trading at the exchange since 2001. At this time, it is not yet clear what caused the quote dissemination system glitch and whether or not human error or system-level malfunction is at the root cause.

In May NASDAQ settled with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for $10 million (£6.6m) over “poor systems and decision-making” during the Facebook initial public offering (IPO).

UPDATE: As of 2:28pm EDT on Thursday, a market system status note indicated that NASDAQ is aiming to restart equity trading at 3:10 pm EDT. But in the end, trading didn’t resume until shortly before trading ended at 4pm EDT.

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Originally published on eWeek.