‘Flash Freeze’ on Wall Street: Trading Halted on Nasdaq-Listed Securities

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In the latest evidence of the complexity of U.S. equity markets, trading of all Nasdaq-listed securities was halted Thursday afternoon due to a problem with the price dissemination systems. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Nasdaq Stock Market cited a technology issue.

The trading halt was announced to market participants through an alert sent by Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) at about 12:15 p.m. ET.

Nasdaq cited a UTP-SIP issue, which involves the system used to distribute stock quotes to human investors.  

New York-based Nasdaq declined to comment on the issue, but an executive told FOX Business the exchange plans to make a statement soon.

“This is quite substantial. The term being coined is the ‘Flash Freeze,'” said Sal Arnuk, co-author of Broken Markets and a partner at Themis Trading. “The market has become very complex. The plumbing is very ornate.”

The Nasdaq Composite has been stuck at 3631.17 since the trading halt. Likewise, shares of tech behemoth Apple (AAPL) did not appear to move since 12:18 p.m. ET, according to data provided by Thomson Reuters. 

It’s worth noting that many stocks were still trading on Wall Street as orders were routed away from Nasdaq.

“This is a big deal. I don’t think I’ve seen that during the day in a long time,” said Dennis Dick, a market structure consultant and proprietary trader at Bright Trading in Detroit. “This market is so complex. Fifteen or 20 years ago it was so much simpler.”

 

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