Big Banks: Financial Winners on a Really Weird Day

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The nation's largest banks on Thursday rallied after taking a beating on Wednesday following the release of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's most recent meeting.

Cullen Frost Bankers ( CFR) of San Antonio saw its shares rise nearly 3% to close at $75.58. Large banks seeing shares rise over 2% included KeyCorp ( KEY) of Cleveland, which closed at $12.35; State Street ( STT) of Boston, closing at $69.73; Regions Financial ( RF) of Birmingham, Ala., at 10.06; M&T Bank ( MTB) of Buffalo, N.Y., at $118.75; and First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG), also of Buffalo, N.Y., at $10.63.

Stock trading was disrupted, as Nasdaq OMX Group ( NDAQ) halted all trading at 12:14 p.m. ET. NYSE Euronext ( NYX) then halted all trading at 12:26, at the request of Nasdaq. This kept investors from trading shares of some of the most active tech names, including Apple ( AAPL) and Microsoft ( MSFT), for over three hours. Nasdaq blamed technical problems that were interfering with the dissemination of stock price quotes.

James Angel, an associate financial professor at Georgetown University and a former chairman of Nasdaq's economic advisory board, in an interview with TheStreet, said that "as we learned from the Facebook ( FB) incident, it's better not to trade, than it is to trade in a messy and disorderly way." Angel referred to the debacle surrounding Facebook's initial public offering in May of 2012, which was marred by numerous Nasdaq trading delays.

"Not only did the Nasdaq exchange go down, but the Nasdaq system that reports the trades to everybody, also went down." Angel was referring to Tape C, through which Nasdaq reports trades to other exchanges through the Securities Information Processor, or SIP.

"Every exchange has had their technology issues, over the past two years," Angel said.

Trading was soon restored on the New York Stock Exchange. Nasdaq resumed trading of just one stock, Atlantic American ( AAME), shortly after 3:00 p.m. ET, with quotes for all other listed stocks being released at 3:10 p.m. and after a 15-minute delay, all stock trading resuming at 3:25 p.m. Options trades were subject to further delays, of up to 20 minutes.

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