The New York Stock Exchange resurrected the dying art of open outcry at the close of play Thursday after a series of computer snags interrupted trading and forced the Exchange to extend the closing by 15 minutes.
The computer problems flared up just 24 hours after after the Nyse had trumpeted its switch to a new ultra-fast order execution system, replacing the 25-year old SuperDot platform.
Nyse reported technical problems throughout the day, starting at 9.25 am with issues with floor brokers' handheld computers and culminating at 3.30 pm with an interruption to order flow, just as brokers started submitting trades for the closing auction.
The Big Board postponed the end of business until 4.15 pm. in New York to ensure all orders were executed properly, Larry Leibowitz, head of US markets for Nyse Euronext, told Bloomberg. The Nyse's 1200 floor traders completed the closing auction manually, instead of using automated systems.
"Having people around as the fail-safe really came through at this point because that allowed us to have a close, where otherwise it might have been very difficult," Leibowitz told Bloomberg Television on the Nyse floor. "Things will always happen with computers, just like they happen with people, but we want to make sure that we can recover as quickly as possible."Nyse traders resort to processing orders by hand after glitch - Bloomberg