All Things Considered, Total Shutdown Of Spiritual Home Of Capitalism Not That Big A Deal

This week's glitch? NBD.
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Could somebody put on the Mets game?

It’s been a while since Glitchstock ’13 came to its buffering, halting, inconvenience-inducing, long-weekend-granting end. So perhaps it’s understandable that people are a little skeptical that mere incompetence could possibly have been behind yesterday’s slightly late New York Stock Exchange opening and other issues, previousexperience notwithstanding. But no: Ineptitude was the culprit, NYSE assures. And maybe a little karma for all the fun the exchange had at the Nasdaq’s expense two years ago.

Glitches noticed early in the day “likely” resulted from a software upgrade, NYSE President Tom Farley said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Trading was then suspended, because “I didn’t feel like we had the level of trust in our systems that is required,” he said.

So, look, the news isn’t all bad: It wasn’t ISIS or the Russians. It didn’t really matter, anyway, because, really, who trades on a stock-exchange floor anymore anyway? And, for NYSE and owner Intercontinental Exchange, it happened just in the nick of time.

The outage occurred four months before new SEC rules take effect that hold exchanges and some private trading venues accountable for technology disruptions.

So, look, you had to find something else to do for three-and-a-half hours yesterday. Probably something like fire up your laptop and doing some sweet dark pool trading. All in all, it could have been worse.

At the outbreak of World War I, the NYSE closed its doors on July 31, as did exchanges around the world in an attempt to curb plunging markets. The shutdown lasted four and a half months. Bond trading didn’t reopen until Nov. 28. Stock trading resumed on Dec. 15, and when it did, it came with a special kind of circuit breaker: no stock could trade below its July 30 closing price. Full trading without limits didn’t resume until April 15, 1915.

NYSE, SEC Suspect Software Update Triggered Trading Halt [Bloomberg]
NYSE Floor Halt: the Street Reaction [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
NYSE Floor Shutdown Was Bad, But It Was Nothing Like 1914 [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Questions Linger Over NYSE, United, WSJ ‘Glitches’ [Good Morning America] [really]
Stephen Colbert’s Take on the NYSE Outage: ‘Apocalypse Dow!’ [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]

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