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UPDATE: Traders Report Technical Issue Involving Nasdaq-Listed Securities

Date : 01/04/2013 @ 8:45AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : News Corp B Voting (NWS)
Quote : 18.63  0.0 (0.00%) @ 6:06AM
News Corp share price Chart

UPDATE: Traders Report Technical Issue Involving Nasdaq-Listed Securities

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   By Matt Jarzemsky and Jacob Bunge 
 

A technical issue affecting securities listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market resulted in stock prices and index levels that appeared frozen in time Thursday afternoon--including the Nasdaq Composite Index, which seemed to linger at 3166.94 for more than 15 minutes, according to data from Nasdaq's website and other market-data sources.

While Nasdaq-listed stocks continued to trade on some exchanges, brokers reported anomalies in the prices of some securities and delays in the reporting of trades to the so-called "consolidated tape," the record of securities transactions across all U.S. exchanges.

In response to the issue, Direct Edge Holdings LLC, which runs two electronic stock exchanges, halted trading in all Nasdaq-listed stocks at 1:44 EST, according to a notice sent to traders. Trading reopened in those securities about 10 minutes later, according to the company.

"When an exchange goes down or goes static on a particular feed, it can become a stressful situation on a desk, because you don't always know where you stand," said Chris Hempstead, director of exchange-traded-fund trading at WallachBeth Capital LLC, a New York brokerage.

Still, employees at the firm were able to complete transactions during the period, Mr. Hempstead said, since some trading continued and tools available to many professional traders enabled them to see what was happening in the market despite the problems.

Services used by individual investors were affected by the outage. The chart of the Nasdaq Composite Index on Nasdaq's free website, for instance, showed a flat, parallel line--reflecting no trading, or a level holding steady--during the window in question rather than the jagged up-and-down ticks investors are used to seeing.

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ), which owns the Nasdaq Stock Market, notified traders at 1:42 EST that its staff were looking into "an issue with stale data" on certain information feeds. A second notice, sent at 1:53 EST, said the issue had been resolved. A spokesman for Nasdaq OMX confirmed the problem had been fixed but declined to comment further.

Data from FactSet, which distributes information on stock pricing, showed no trades in Nasdaq-listed stocks News Corp. (NWSA), Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) for about a 15-minute period ahead of 2 p.m. News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire.

One hundred shares of Apple stock traded at 1:36:37 p.m. EST at $547.64 a share, according to FactSet. The iPhone maker's stock would normally see trades that can number in the dozens in just one minute. But another Apple trade wasn't reflected in FactSet's data for nearly 15 minutes, until 1:51:14, when 150 shares changed hands at $547.70 a share.

Similar gaps were seen in the trading other Nasdaq-listed shares, including those of Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN).

-Write to Matt Jarzemsky at matthew.jarzemsky@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires




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