4. Option Outage
Sorry, Mary Jo, but gathering a gaggle of exchange bosses didn't solve much. What else ya got?
Options trading across several exchanges was halted for a brief spell Monday afternoon due to a mysterious technical glitch in the Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA), a computer system that distributes price quotes. All trading in options was halted at 1:40 p.m. and was totally back to normal by 2:30 p.m. Among the exchanges affected by the snafu were those operated by Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) and CBOE Holdings (CBOE). Monday's shutdown followed the halting last Friday of two of CBOE's securities exchanges for more than half an hour due to unidentified OPRA problems.
Ironically, the OPRA problems popped up the day after the heads of major U.S. stock exchanges met privately in Washington with regulators including SEC Chair Mary Jo White to clean up the rash of technical troubles afflicting the market and panicking investors, most notably the Aug. 22 computer failure at Nasdaq that caused a three-hour trading outage."Today's meeting was very constructive," said White in a statement last Thursday. "I stressed the need for all market participants to work collaboratively -- together and with the Commission -- to strengthen critical market infrastructure and improve its resilience when technology falls short." Talk about "stressed," Mary Jo. Clearly your stressing didn't accomplish much in terms of immediate results. The only people who are stressing right now as we see it are options traders wondering if their next trade will be busted. Not that we are pinning the blame on White mind you. Not by a long shot. It's not her fault that her charges are unable to get it together. If we have a Rube Goldberg computer system of 12 different options exchanges that can't talk with each other, how can we expect their respective CEOs to communicate?
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