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Do Traders Dream of Electric Stocks?

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The 3,618 securities on the "exchange" unit of the NYSE are going fully electronic today. The average time to complete a trade on the NYSE has fallen from 9 seconds to 0.3 seconds over the last several months with the increased push toward automation and gradual siphoning of human resources. The exchange hopes to reduce trading time by an additional 90% this year, and then hopes to pre-empt your trades before you place them once the pre-cogs under control.
Since late 2005 restrictions on electronic trading volume were modified to allow for large automatic orders (max 1 million shares), 80% of current trading is electronic, up from 19% earlier last year. There are still around 100 NYSE stocks that still require an indigenous pack animal to trade, but the restrictions on those securities are expected to be modified this week.
The increased electronic trading has resulted in a slight increase in average NYSE stock trade volatility, which may mean the machines are getting smarter, and already skimming a bit off the top. NYSE and dystopian robot army apologists claim that the average volatility of NYSE stock trades is still less than the NASDAQ.
The NYSE: Faster (and Lonelier) – [WSJ]


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