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NASDAQ Trading Halted Due To "Technical Issue"

timothy posted 1 year,27 days | from the get-right-on-that dept.

Bug 240

barlevg writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that trading was halted midday Thursday due to an as-yet unnamed technical issue. Says SEC spokesperson John Nester, 'We are monitoring the situation and in are close contact with the exchanges.'"

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240 comments

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Hello tech support? (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,27 days | (#44644977)

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Re:Hello tech support? (4, Funny)

gforce811 (903907) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645133)

"3 times... You always tell me to do it 3 times."

- The Website Is Down (http://youtu.be/uRGljemfwUE)

Re:Hello tech support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645671)

That's awesome, man!

Re:Hello tech support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645151)

Have you rebooted it 3 times?

http://www.thewebsiteisdown.com/

Re:Hello tech support? (5, Funny)

605dave (722736) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645167)

You have to restart it while holding down the option key. That will flush the cash.

Re:Hello tech support? (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645343)

I don't know what you mean. It's working for me. [Unplugs coffee maker, plugs server back in]. --BOFH

Re:Hello tech support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645543)

Tech support put them on hold.

Re:Hello tech support? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645827)

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

That's useless. Fifty years ago the got us to the Moon, and look where they are now!

MUAHAHAHAHA (3, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,27 days | (#44644985)

Does this make anyone else happy for some reason?

It's Apple's fault (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645049)

Their stock has been slipping, and right when it dipped below 500 per share, NASDAQ shits the bed.

Coincidence? I think... yeah, probably, actually.

Re:It's Apple's fault (1)

verglovan (3017745) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645295)

Apple was below $400 at the end of June.. you are up ~%25 if you bought it then.

Re:It's Apple's fault (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645421)

A flash crash was what I thought.

Since these insane investors want core algorithmic changes made that could ruin the whole economy done in a matter of hours it would not surprise me if protections in the trading systems shuts them down equally in a blink of an eye so that particular investment wont lose money and cause a 2nd great depression in the process.

Re:It's Apple's fault (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645917)

Since these insane investors want core algorithmic changes made that could ruin the whole economy done in a matter of hours

It's just the stock market, a drop in the market isn't going to ruin the economy. 1929 looked bad, but the economic problems happened first, then the stock market dropped. Look at black Monday (1987) for an example of what happens with flash trading crashes......not much.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645057)

Schadenfreude.

I'm not even sure what the stock market *does*. I don't think many people do. Including the people who run it. The higher echelons of finance are so many layers of abstraction away from what the common people deal with, it's hard to fit the two ends together.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645233)

The stock market is a construct by high-class insecure gambling addicts. It sounds much better to say "I trade stocks" than "I frequent the casino".

Just as most casino goers will claim that they do it for fun, or to relax, stock traders will claim that they're "investing".

Both are gambling - the difference is only one of class divides.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (4, Insightful)

edibobb (113989) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645621)

No, derivatives (such as mortgage backed securities) and options are constructs by high-class insecure gambling addicts. While you can gamble on the stock market, but most people (and institutions) use it for investment, or long-term bets. One notable difference between a casino and the stock market is that in the stock market, the odds are in the your favor.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (1)

mrbester (200927) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645793)

Another difference is that they don't gamble with their own money. It's much more fun to gamble with other peoples money while getting paid obscene amounts for doing so.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645375)

I'm not even sure what the stock market *does*. I don't think many people do. Including the people who run it. The higher echelons of finance are so many layers of abstraction away from what the common people deal with, it's hard to fit the two ends together.

This isn't about some mysterious "higher echelons of finance ". The majority of Americans own stock, directly or though 401k or pension plans. Before the 2008 crash is was nearly 2/3s. And yet many people are in the same boat as you.

I think this is a terrible problem with education in America. People are afraid of the market, don't understand it, don't want to understand it, but that's due to simple lack of education. And it's important to know the basics, since it will likely affect your standard of living in retirement.

Just like there's a certain minimum amount you need to know about how cars work before you can drive safely - not all that much, but there are a several hours about it in most drivers ed classes - there's a certain minimum amount you need to know about how markets and investments work. Where's the public education for that? Are we so intent on class warfare that we'll cut off our nose to spite our face here?

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645519)

I'm not even sure what the stock market *does*. I don't think many people do. Including the people who run it. The higher echelons of finance are so many layers of abstraction away from what the common people deal with, it's hard to fit the two ends together.

This isn't about some mysterious "higher echelons of finance ". The majority of Americans own stock, directly or though 401k or pension plans. Before the 2008 crash is was nearly 2/3s. And yet many people are in the same boat as you.

I think this is a terrible problem with education in America. People are afraid of the market, don't understand it, don't want to understand it, but that's due to simple lack of education. And it's important to know the basics, since it will likely affect your standard of living in retirement.

Just like there's a certain minimum amount you need to know about how cars work before you can drive safely - not all that much, but there are a several hours about it in most drivers ed classes - there's a certain minimum amount you need to know about how markets and investments work. Where's the public education for that? Are we so intent on class warfare that we'll cut off our nose to spite our face here?

Yeah, that was before people discovered. Now everyone is doing it and these companies can not grow anymore and no more investors will come in to boost the shareprice.

Shit most do not even pay dividends anymore! That is a terrible buy if you ask me. That is like me selling you a vacation home where I keep all the rent money and you get nothing. Would you agree to such a deal even after you buy it?! Hell no. ... but don't worry Johhny down the street just may buy it so you can still get rich ... wink wink.

Now it is Gold and bitcoins. As more people buy them the value goes up. Yes, this is gambling. The more someone learns about the stock market the more they will see how rich computer trading high frequency traders steal your money and how overvalued some of these companies are. In the old days more stocks meant these companies could use the cash to buy more factories to make more money and you would see it every quarter as a solid 30 year investment.

Today it is traded in 1/10000th of a second by scammers and the traders still pay themselves pre financial deregulation like it is their money for compensation rather than yours. You are getting rob unless you know what the hell you are doing.

There are other investments that pay more today and unless these companies can grow why invest. The pre-IPO new guys starting out you say? Well the investors get the same shares for 1/4th the price before it hits the market. It is inflated on opening day. You simply can not win these hustlers.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645565)

The difference between Joe Retirement who owns some slices in a mutual fund and hopes for the best and some of the more...exotic (and dangerous) market activity is rougly on par with the difference between 'people who live wooden houses' and 'people who build graphene-nanotube space elevators'(except that those would actually be an amazingly useful thing...). Both carbon-based structures? Sure. Otherwise similar, not so much.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645601)

And it's important to know the basics,

The basics: Buy low, sell high

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (5, Insightful)

ErichTheRed (39327) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645713)

"I think this is a terrible problem with education in America. People are afraid of the market, don't understand it, don't want to understand it, but that's due to simple lack of education. And it's important to know the basics, since it will likely affect your standard of living in retirement."

I agree, but I can also see the other side of it. Way back before technology made it possible to do day trading or HFT, it was actually a market that most educated people could get their heads around. And if you're a Buffett-style "value investor" who picks good companies and hangs onto stocks for a long time, a lot of the noise is still filtered out. But, I do think that online trading, instant access to information and cheap trades contribute to volatility. Volatility filters back to the average investor in the form of their account balance wildly swinging up and down for reasons that aren't 100% clear to them.

Some examples:
Investment buy decision process, old school: "Hmm, the WSJ basically reprinted an IBM press release showing new and exciting products. I think I will buy 100 shares of the company and see where it goes. I will call my broker in the morning and pay $100 in fees, then I will own and hold these shares to see if they increase in value."
Investment buy decision process, new school: "OMG, my trading platform's tech sector chart just blinked a brighter shade of green, looks like IBM is in play. Click, buy 100 shares IBM, 85 shares CSCO, 62 shares MSFT, 90 shares RHAT all for $7.95 or free if I trade hundreds of times a month."

Investment sell decision process, old school: "Hmm. the WSJ article I just read says IBM isn't keeping up with competitors. I've made a bit of money on this over the last 10 years, time to sell. Let's call the broker in the morning and maybe I'll do some research on where else to put the profits."
Investment sell decision process, new school: "OMG, IBM missed their quarterly earnings by one cent. Wow, they suck. Sell sell sell! Twitter, "OMG, #IBM is #toast, get out now!!!!!' Stock message boards, "Smart money is in Cisco." Facebook: "Selling my IBM shares now, suggest you do the same." Wow, IBM is down 25% for the day, I wonder why?

If I were running a company that didn't need access to capital that only the stock market would bring, I'd never go public even if it meant Easy Street for me forever. Once a company does that, they will NEVER have control over anything they do.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (2)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645943)

Volatility filters back to the average investor in the form of their account balance wildly swinging up and down for reasons that aren't 100% clear to them.

It has ever been thus. If anything, volatility is quite constrained now by historical standards. Markets have always been driven first by rumor and fashion, and only distantly by fundamentals. It was worse in 1913, and worse still in 1713.

What's changed is that now most of us have a reason to care, and should have been taught stuff like this.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645447)

"I'm not even sure what the stock market *does*."

Think of it this way. It's like Las Vegas. Except it's legal everywhere and there's less oversight to keep people honest. Oh, and if you are dishonest, they just take back a portion of your ill-gotten gains, instead of breaking your legs.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645581)

When does Vegas allow you to buy assets?

Re: MUAHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645609)

There are 2000 trade types. Way to many. Let's uncomplicated things in the markets.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (2)

ah.clem (147626) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645615)

Why not spend some time reading, then? It's not rocket science, and like it or not, this is how the game works. To remain ignorant to how wealth is generated in this country is to give up. Time and something as simple as dollar cost averaging $10-$20 a week in extremely low risk mutuals could get you a better future life than bitching about "Elitists" and sticking your money in a mattress (or blowing it all on crap every month). The market is comprised of "common people" investing for a better future. The only person stopping you is you. Just my opinion.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (1)

slew (2918) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645967)

I'm not even sure what the stock market *does*. I don't think many people do. Including the people who run it.

You can make that statement with nearly every human endeavour. Nearly everything (computer, cars, etc), rely on so many layers of abstraction that nobody really knows what is going on...

Sadly, it is the illusion of knowledge [wikiquote.org] and the illusion of control [wikipedia.org] that dominate most things that we as a species do (stock market included)...

The superficial reason for the stock market is to employ middlefolk who match those wanting capital with those who have capital (kind of like a grocery store matches those wanting food with those that harvest food). Of course the grocery store mostly functions to restrict the type of food available so that most folks don't have to think and just buy what is available and choose among the most shiny, and get on with their life...

You might imagine that kind of setup is rife for manipulation by the middlefolk... However, in reality nobody knows how it really works or can actually control it. Even the middlefolk.

I feel indifferent. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645155)

I'm an old school (1930s era) value investor - Ben Graham [amazon.com] type of investor.

I don't give shit. I don't care what the know nothings on CNBC have to say (I don't think Becky is all that, BTW) nor do I care what Warren Buffet has to say - publicly.

I got an alpha of 20% right now and it's freaking me out because I'm thinking there's something wrong with my calcs. No, overall I'm up like 50+% year to date but I'm freaking out because i KNOW - I KNOW - there's luck involved and I WANT to weed it out so I can plan better.

If I were a Hedge fund or mutual fund manager, I'd be interviewed in the press and folks would be patting me on the back for my "brilliance" - fucking morons- all of them.

I got LUCKY and I'm too stupid to figure out where!!

Re:I feel indifferent. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645267)

Smart man. Playing the day-trading game against the HFTs is like playing chess against Deep Blue. Might as well have a weight-lifting contest with a forklift.

Re:I feel indifferent. (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645479)

Value investing != day trading. Read more books before you try to sound smart about something you know nothing about.

Re:I feel indifferent. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645521)

Read the whole comment ... and let it sink in for a moment .. before you try to sound smart about something you didn't fully comprehend.

Re:I feel indifferent. (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645557)

The rest of the comment is irrelevant. If I bought a value stock 10 years ago, I am most certainly not "competing against Deep Blue", or any other "algorithm" or "program". That's exactly what value investing is NOT. It's buy and HOLD. And the idea is to hold "forever". Versus day trading or swing trading where you buy and SELL within a time period for small but frequent profits. It's in the latter that you'll find computerization, not in the former.

Re:I feel indifferent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645631)

Hence the comment's parent is the "Smart man" for not attempting to have the weightlifting contest against the forklift.

Cpt. Reading Comprehension is on his way over to your place of business.

Re:I feel indifferent. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645599)

Umm, AC specifically praised the grandparent poster for not being a day trader.

Re: I feel indifferent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645661)

Or maybe you ought to try understanding the post you're responding to. He suggested nothing of the sort.

Re:I feel indifferent. (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645709)

He was not confusing the two, he was actually pointing out that value investing is much better and smarter than day trading. He said "smart man" as a compliment. Read the posts again.

Re:I feel indifferent. (2)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645467)

No luck involved. You are merely keeping up with the devaluation/loss of purchasing power of the US dollar, whereas others (bond people, gold, etc) are not.

Re:I feel indifferent. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645871)

Take a look at your stocks. Are they overvalued? Sell them. Are they still a good value? Keep them. That is the core of the Graham way. You can stop 'freaking out.'

It's not about whether you have a high alpha and now things are dangerous. That's not how it works.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (2)

tgd (2822) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645401)

Does this make anyone else happy for some reason?

Only people whose total understanding of global economics comes from things they've read on Slashdot.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (1)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645619)

So your prediction would be that an outage of a few hours in this vital industry will negatively impact US economic output? Cause I don't think that. All this super-short-term stuff is zero sum.

Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645423)

I would be happy if they used pen and paper while the computers are down, and got to see automated traders and day traders largely left out of the market.

MONEY!!!!!! (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | 1 year,27 days | (#44644995)

Keep working prole slaves! Have no fear, your masters will recover their profits, and if you are lucky, you will keep your job, until you DIE!

The little guys started to win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645001)

Some HFTs went haywire, and the little-guy traders started to get the half cent per transaction that they actually deserve. We can't have that, can we?

Anonymous (0)

vikingpower (768921) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645009)

nuff said. MUAHAHAHAHAH ! [ disclaimer: this post is neither anonymous nor cowardly ]

It's Just a Casino Anyway... (5, Funny)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645107)

...which is why I keep all my money in bitcoins.

Re:It's Just a Casino Anyway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645177)

I prefer Diablo III gold, myself.

Right about now ... (5, Funny)

bizitch (546406) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645169)

.... there is a group of engineers ...

- Flop sweating their asses off
- Furiously searching their email for that ass-covering memo to their boss about the pricey "redundant this" or "redundant that" that the boss was too cheap to get
- Wondering if there is enough alcohol on earth for what they will need later tonight

Re:Right about now ... (4, Funny)

Etherwalk (681268) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645365)

.... there is a group of engineers ...

- Flop sweating their asses off
- Furiously searching their email for that ass-covering memo to their boss about the pricey "redundant this" or "redundant that" that the boss was too cheap to get
- Wondering if there is enough alcohol on earth for what they will need later tonight

This is the stock exchange. "Redundant this" and "Redundant that" were in the budget, and alcohol is plentiful.

Don't forget about... (5, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645481)

... the group of MBAs ...

  - Flop sweating their asses of
  - Furiously searching their email for that ass-covering memo where the IT guy said "Yeah, this should work"
  - Wondering if there is enough coke on earth to get them through the rest of the day

For these guys, there are only two universal truths:
    1) This is absolutely, positively, 100% the IT guy's fault
    2) He can not fix this without the IT guy.
The impotent rage would be palpable.

LET CHAOS REIGN (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645205)

Quick, everybody spread rumors about shutdowns and buyouts, those Wall Street fatcats will shit their pants! >:D

"Technical Issue" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645209)

Technically, someone screwed up a bid and lost a billion dollars. Or, at least, that's the most common cause of stoppages I hear about these days.
I've got a dollar that says there will be a roll-back.

"Technical Issue" (1)

hackus (159037) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645219)

a.k.a Market Crash

Same thing with the crooked banks, when they have a Holiday now, and you can't get your money out, it is a "Hacker" or a "Terrorist" or some other garbage.

-Hack

Ran out (1, Troll)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645223)

They forgot to restock their supply of Greed Oil.

Re:Ran out (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645257)

They'll have to orphans into the sump tank like in the old days!

(rather than just harvesting their tears and refining it into Greed Oil)

Re:Ran out (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645277)

*to throw orphans. I accidentally the whole thing :-(

Re:Ran out s'okay...it's flexfuel... (1)

techsimian (2555762) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645813)

Runs on kittens, puppies and unicorn blood now.

I don't understand the need for high-speed trading (4, Insightful)

runeghost (2509522) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645231)

Seriously. Is there any real need (beyond that for connected players to be able skim money off the top) for anyone to be able to sell and buy stock (or commodities) in a tiny fraction of a second, instead of say, once every fifteen minutes or even longer?

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645367)

Does it really add any value to society and therefore worthy of generating money from actually getting nothing done?

Seems its a game that we are all financing..... a sad sad game.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645381)

I don't understand the problem. Being first in line is not always advantageous. It just makes you first in line. First to make a good deal. But first to make a bad deal too. Nothing "magical" about it that generates you magical profits.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645449)

There is $1B+/year in HFT profits that indicate otherwise. It's not just that they trade first but that much of their trading is risk-free by getting in the middle of other slower orders on both sides of the market.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (2)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645505)

Yep, because they know how to trade. HFT won't guarantee a winning trade however, when the market moves the other way. And believe me it happens often. There's more to it than just having a fast connection. For an example I can point to KCG (Knight Capital Group), whose HFT programs lost them what was it, 400+ million in a few minutes when FB was launched? It broke the company, anyway. HFT is not always "good". You have to know how to use it, too.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645523)

"There is $1B+/year in HFT profits"

Which means there is also $1B+/year in losses to someone, caused by HFT. Guess what? If it's the HFT traders making a profit, it's the investors taking the hit.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645561)

A billion does not seem to be too much to pay for liquidity in a $36 trillion dollar market.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (3, Informative)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645567)

You don't make money by "getting in the middle of slower orders" in any risk-free way. Markets don't work that way. You do make money by being the first to trade on "news", but better that than insider trading (i.e., better to trade 1 ms after than 1 week before). You do make money by taking a little risk as a market maker, but HFT has squeezed profits there very thin.

Do you have any idea how tiny $1 B/year is compared to the amount of stock that trades each year? I'm sure profits are much higher, just on first-after-news trading, and that doesn't mean there's a problem.

When I trade (being a little guy who doesn't follow the markets constantly) I get a better price thanks to HFT: the bid-ask gap is tiny these days, often 1 cent, and my broker makes $10 on the same trade the HFT guy makes $0.01 or so.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (5, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645399)

Sure.

In the old days (80s, 90s), when it was seconds, the middle men grabbed 12.5 to 25 cents per share. Before then, when it was minutes, they would grab 50 cents. Costs for the average small investor have fallen by over 90%. If you invest in index funds your costs have fallen by over 95%. (But wait you say – I don’t trade my index funds. Look at your funds expense ratio, pull out the supplementary prospectus information on what portion of that is trading costs for the past 20 years, and gap.)

Or, to put it another way, would you rather have dozens of HFT fighting for your business or an oligopoly of clique, cozy partnerships. Not saying it is perfect but that it is an improvement.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645877)

I just wish the market operated on a tick.

As things are now, they're supposed to be first come, first served. That's why all the HFTs pay mega bucks to be collocated in the same datacenter as the exchanges. This means any hickups affect the order that things are processed. It's non-deterministic by design.

It makes much more since to run on a tick. All transactions would processed once every second. You still need some sort of ordering, but it would allow for many things to happen. Including realtime offsite backups, and moving the servers without everyone screaming bloody murder.

Think about it, the stock exchanges can't be in more than one data center because otherwise the HFTs would freak. It's just too non deterministic to even have a failover location.

They could even have a bidding war for transaction priority. Instead of HFTs paying for microwave links, they could just straight up bid to have their transactions processed first in the queue.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645405)

Seriously. Is there any real need (beyond that for connected players to be able skim money off the top) for anyone to be able to sell and buy stock (or commodities) in a tiny fraction of a second, instead of say, once every fifteen minutes or even longer?

Time is money. Time passes as new information is acquired or transmitted. Shorter time intervals will therefore always be desirable for making a market more efficient and to accurately reflect reality. The more time it takes to buy and sell, the more risk there is in buying or holding stock, because the stock is less liquid and its value can change dramatically in very little time.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (4, Funny)

runeghost (2509522) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645513)

Seriously. Is there any real need (beyond that for connected players to be able skim money off the top) for anyone to be able to sell and buy stock (or commodities) in a tiny fraction of a second, instead of say, once every fifteen minutes or even longer?

Time is money. Time passes as new information is acquired or transmitted. Shorter time intervals will therefore always be desirable for making a market more efficient and to accurately reflect reality. The more time it takes to buy and sell, the more risk there is in buying or holding stock, because the stock is less liquid and its value can change dramatically in very little time.

Wait, wait, wait. I'm grokking some of the other points in favor of high-frequency trading, but are you actually claiming that the stock market reflects reality?

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

lgw (121541) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645433)

Yes. Just like you can't make a very good car if you only have one cylinder fire ever 15 seconds (though you could make something with wheels that lurched about). I've explained the technical details about a dozen times on /. before, so at this point I'll just say: you know that guy who believes "I don't understand it so it must be easy"? Don't be that guy. Education, then opinion.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645461)

beyond that for connected players to be able skim money off the top

Let me stop you right there.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645477)

Because they can. If you don't like it, try coming up with a system that restricts trading to only at 15 minute intervals without tripping over yourself trying to find out whether all transactions are valid or not. This isn't a "We're so powerful, we can push rules that make us win," it's "This is the way computer systems work, deal with it."

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645531)

adds money into the system from the people willing to "invest" into the funds that do this
most of the trading every day is a tiny percentage of shares traded by hedge funds

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645535)

I think we need more often than every fifteen minutes, but I'm not sure we need more often than every 15 seconds.

Every trade is an information exchange. It puts information into the market. If you have trades every 15 minutes, and two actors have conflicting information, it will take a large amount of time before they agree - ie, the price stabilizes. This provides a bandwidth limit to the amount of information that can be transmitted into the market - in other words, it makes the information less accurate. In practice, this will probably manifest as much larger spreads, which makes any exchange more expensive.

Now, at some point information pushing stops being the case, and it turns into somebody scalping off the information that's already in the market. That's what HFT is about - somebody analyses the price movement, and extracts the information content from that - bringing that information to the market a millisecond earlier, but taking the value that was really generated by whoever was doing the trade that started the small price movement. In practice, as far as I can tell, this is usually front-running, and effectively takes away value from longer term investors. Example: pension fund PF is going to sell $100M of MSFT. Nobody is going to buy all of that at once, so they put it out in $1M lots at market value, as quickly as their pipe can do it. HFT trader HF sees that there are $1M lots coming in, and shorts a bunch of $1M lots of MSFT to drive the price down (taking the value of each of these), and then covers their shorts by buying the MSFT shares from PF at the now depressed prices. In practice, how they do this is a tiny bit more complicated than this, but it morally end up with the same thing.

Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (0)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645555)

Seriously. Is there any real need (beyond that for connected players to be able skim money off the top) for anyone to be able to sell and buy stock (or commodities) in a tiny fraction of a second, instead of say, once every fifteen minutes or even longer?

The market operates for the near-exclusive benefit of those HFT players. The SEC ensures that a competing market cannot replace it("them"), while the revolving door between Wall Street, Treasury, and The Fed, continues unabated.

obvious (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645235)

Must be Windows Updates forcing a reboot. That's usually the problem.

Re:obvious (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645271)

NASDAQ uses Linux.

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645403)

Since when? I thought the whole thing was in C#.

Re:obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645497)

Re:obvious (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645761)

It's certainly flat now.

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645525)

NASDAQ uses Linux.

SQL Server runs on Linux now? lol ok...

Re:obvious (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645597)

That's relevant how? From the link another person posted above to an LWN article:

NASDAQ OMX's exchanges run on thousands of Linux-based servers. These servers handle realtime transaction processing, monitoring, and development as well. The big challenge in this environment, of course, is performance; real money depends on whether the exchange can keep up with the order stream. Latency matters as much as throughput, though; orders must be responded to (and executed) within bounded period of time. Needless to say, reliability is also crucially important; down time is not well received, to say the least.

Re:obvious (1)

roc97007 (608802) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645837)

...but then they hired a former Windows admin, who saw that the servers had not been rebooted in the last 45 days...

Goldman must have lost money on a trade (3, Interesting)

JoeyRox (2711699) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645245)

In case you didn't know Goldman is never supposed to lose money on a trade, which is why they can report 100+ days of consecutive trading profits, which is a mathematical impossibility in a non-rigged market.

Re:Goldman must have lost money on a trade (1)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645427)

LOL! I see it as the Fed had trouble re-starting their buying programs after a couple days off, so they stopped the market for a while for the reboot.

Re:Goldman must have lost money on a trade (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645783)

No, it's not mathematically impossible. It is statistically improbable.

interesting timing (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645275)

This happened right around the time that the new Neverwinter module was launched. Coincidence? I think not. Perhaps the people in charge installed the Neverwinter client and were playing the new area instead of monitoring the exchange.

Basic CS (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645281)

"Technical Issue" = Apple below 500.

Well known error condition.

What's going on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645331)

Slow news day?

Converted to electronic systems? (1)

dcooper_db9 (1044858) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645383)

Towards the end of the article it says that this is the latest in a string of technology-related mishaps affecting exchanges and brokers as markets over the past two decades have migrated to electronic systems. That's an absurd statement considering two decades is a very long time. Besides, computers were first used in trading in the 1960's. What's happened in recent years that's made market systems more vulnerable?

Hmmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645443)

NASDAQ down today. All of Google down for a few minutes recently. Many of Apple's services down today. Some of Microsoft's services down last week. I wonder what's up with that?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645515)

NASDAQ down today. All of Google down for a few minutes recently. Many of Apple's services down today. Some of Microsoft's services down last week. I wonder what's up with that?

Hell, all of Europe has been off for a month, can't anyone get some vacation on this side of the Atlantic?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645595)

Nobody cares about Europe so that is why its not news. They only work 6 weeks out of a year anyways, and then that is only to strike for more holidays.

Re:Hmmmm (4, Funny)

runeghost (2509522) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645529)

The NSA must be installing new taps.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645865)

Don't forget about biological weapons used in Syria and shit hitting the fan in Egypt.

Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645623)

I told the manager we should test it thoroughly but he just wouldn't listen ;)

Emergency Averted. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645625)

Assuming Direct Control.

2:45 (1)

s122604 (1018036) | 1 year,27 days | (#44645739)

Latest news: They are going to start trading at 2:45 EDT.
My prediction is a brief panic sell-off, followed by a return to normalcy, considering putting in a few limit orders.

Be sure to Flush the Trade Queue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44645923)

... Prior to re-opening the market

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