Trading came to a standstill at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for about three and a half hours, CNN Money has learned. The reason behind is said to be more of “an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach,” according to the NYSE.
The first tweet from NYSE regarding this came at around 9:09 a.m. It said, “We’re experiencing a technical issue that we’re working to resolve as quickly as possible.” It was immediately followed up by another tweet that reads, “We’re doing our utmost to produce a swift resolution & will be providing further updates as soon as we can.”
Meanwhile, the problem reportedly was evident even at the opening bell. The New York Times spoke with Peter Costa, a trader on the floor with Empire Executions who said that the first signs of the technical problem appeared when a number of orders for smaller stocks did not go through.
At the beginning of the shutdown, Costa had also told the New York Times that exchange employees had to cancel as much as 700,000 orders manually. For a moment, it seemed like the problem has been dealt with, but then the technical glitch simply went on.
It did not take long for NYSE to send out another series of tweets. The first one reassured everyone that there was no cyberattack taking place while the next one reads, “We chose to suspend trading on NYSE to avoid problems arising from our technical issue.” Moreover, it added, “NYSE-listed securities continue to trade unaffected on other market centers.”
In addition, an NYSE spokesperson has also told Forbes, “We’re currently experiencing a technical issue that we’re working to resolve as quickly as possible. We will be providing further updates as soon as we can, and are doing our utmost to produce a swift resolution, communicate thoroughly and transparently, and ensure a timely and orderly market re-open.”
The New York Times reports that when trading at the NYSE was shut down, it was done without giving the traders on the floor any warning. Costa even told the New York Times, “I was about to order my lunch and when I turned around the screens all went blank.”
Moreover, the Wall Street Journal (which also experienced some technical issues earlier) has also learned that prior to the full trading suspension, as much as 200 stock symbols were affected in trading due to a “reported issue with a gateway connection.” Furthermore, the same remarks can be seen repeatedly seen in the Market Status page of NYSE’s website.
Meanwhile, trading resumed at the NYSE on Wednesday afternoon, right in time for the closing bell. NYSE confirmed this with a tweet that said, “Trading on NYSE and NYSE MKT has resumed.”
Regarding the reason behind the technical glitch, NYSE President Thomas Farley told CNBC, “I can’t say with precision exactly what drove it. We found what was wrong and we fixed what was wrong and we have no evidence whatsoever to suspect that it was external.”
Moreover, Farley added, “Do we need to change our protocols? Absolutely. This can’t happen again. We can’t put ourselves in this position again. Exactly what those changes are, I’m not yet prepared to say.”