A computer glitch stopped trading for 40 minutes in more than 200 stocks at the New York Stock Exchange today. One of the key computer servers used to conduct trading lost connectivity to the trading network. As a result, stocks such as General Electric and ExxonMobil were unable to be traded.
Until a backup server was put in place, trading in those shares was stopped on the floor and the world witnessed the NYSE in chaos. Any trades sent to the NYSE during the time of the outrage were immediately cancelled and the brokers were notified. If a trade was denied during the time the NYSE’s system was down, it would have been rerouted temporarily to an alternative market or exchange. NYSE spokesman Ray Pellecchia stated, “We’ll review the problem tonight, but it’s back to business as usual.”
While we recognize the complexity of running the NYSE is vast, it seems like anything this important to the U.S. and world economy should have better data protection and continuity plans in place. One has to wonder the cost in lost trades and missed opportunities.