NYSE tracks glitch that caused Tuesday market chaos to 'manual error'
By William Watts
Securities and Exchange Commission staff are reviewing the incident
The New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday said a "manual error" tied to its disaster-recovery system triggered wild price swings and trading halts that marred the previous session's open, resulting in the busting of thousands of trades on numerous stocks and drawing the attention of regulators.
"The root cause was determined to be a manual error involving the Exchange's Disaster Recovery configuration at system start of day," the NYSE said in a statement. The NYSE said all exchange systems were operational. Wednesday's open appeared to get off to a smooth start.
Dozens of stocks were briefly halted after Tuesday's opening bell for volatility. Several stocks showed large opening moves, triggering circuit breakers that automatically halted trade in individual stocks. The halt hit a number of high-profile names, including Morgan Stanley (MS), 3M (MMM) and McDonald's (MCD). Trading largely returned to normal by 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
The NYSE said that as a result of the glitch, trading in 2,824 NYSE-listed securities began Tuesday without attempting to conduct an opening auction. That led to erroneous prices, with the exchange determining that approximately 4,341 trades in 251 symbols should be busted.
The exchange said most of those trade breaks were processed on Tuesday and that it plans to process the remaining trade breaks on Wednesday.
"Such events are extremely rare, and we are thoroughly examining the day's activity to assure the highest level of resilience in our systems. We ended the day with a normal market close and expect a regular open on Wednesday," said Michael Blaugrund, NYSE chief operating officer, in a statement late Tuesday.
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission spokesperson said agency staff are reviewing the activity and have been in touch with the relevant exchanges,
The NYSE also said a "sell short restriction" had been erroneously triggered on Tuesday.
"On January 24, 2023, a Sell Short Restriction (SSR) state was erroneously triggered in a subset of NYSE listed symbols." It said the SSR on 81 securities were set to be deactivated before the NYSE opening on Wednesday.
The restriction stems from a relatively recent rule, from 2010, that's called the alternative uptick rule. That rule says that stocks can't be shorted if they have dropped 10% or more in one day.
The NYSE is a unit of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE). Shares of Intercontinental Exchange were down 1.6% Wednesday amid a broad market selloff after a 2.2% drop on Tuesday.
Major stock indexes were sharply lower as investors reacted to results and outlooks from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and other corporate heavyweights. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 375 points, or 1.1%, while the S&P 500 shed 1.4% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.9%.
--Steve Goldstein contributed reporting to this article.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 25, 2023 11:16 ET (16:16 GMT)
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