WASHINGTON (AP) - The latest high-tech disruption in the financial markets ratchets up the pressure on Nasdaq and other electronic exchanges to take steps to avoid future breakdowns and manage them better if they do occur.
The three-hour trading outage on the Nasdaq stock exchange Thursday also can be expected to trigger new rounds of regulatory scrutiny on computer-driven trading. Investors' shaky confidence in the markets also took another hit.
Questions about potential dangers of the super-fast electronic trading systems that now dominate the nation's stock markets ripple again through Wall Street and Washington. Stocks can be traded in fractions of a second, often by automated programs. That makes the markets more vulnerable to technical failures.
On Thursday, only a few hours after trading ended for the day, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission said she will work to finalize SEC rules that would subject U.S. exchanges to tighter oversight of automated trading.