Nasdaq blames human error for latest outage

Nasdaq blames human error for latest outage

As Nyse Euronext carries out systems testing ahead of the upcoming Twitter IPO, rival Nasdaq OMX has blamed human error for its latest outage.

Over the weekend Nyse Euronext, at the request of member firms, took the unprecedented step of running a simulation of the upcoming Twitter IPO to test whether its systems will be able to handle what is expected to be a huge rush of message traffic.

The simulation was deemed necessary in part because of Nasdaq OMX's botched handling of the Facebook IPO last year, when a malfunction in the exchange's system designed for processing order cancellations caused chaos. The incident has cost Nasdaq OMX tens of millions of dollars in compensation and fines.

Yesterday the exchange operator suffered another glitch when human error "performing an operational function" resulted in the incorrect delivery of data to an index distribution system. This meant index data could not be disseminated for around 45 minutes.

Although a fairly minor incident, it comes after not only the Facebook IPO issues but also a three hour outage in August. That prompted the SEC to call in exchange heads to hammer out measures - including the introduction of kill switches - designed to improve the resilience of the market in an age where technology-related problems are becoming increasingly common.

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