Nasdaq blames connectivity issue for three hour outage

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Nasdaq, which is the favoured stock exchange for many technology companies including Google and Facebook, has blamed a three hour break in trading yesterday on a communications glitch.

The problems began at 12.14pm EDT (5.14pm BST) and it took a little over three hours for trading to resume at 3.25pm (8.25pm BST). The shutdown is the longest in recent memory.

Nasdaq said it only took 30 minutes to resolve the technical issues affecting the exchange, but it spent the remaining 2.5 hours coordinating with other exchanges, regulators and market participants in order to ensure "an orderly re-opening of trading in Nasdaq limited securities".

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the largest US stock exchange, stopped all trading in Nasdaq's stocks and cancelled orders at Nasdaq's request during the outage.

Details surrounding the outage are sketchy. In a statement, Nasdaq said: "Earlier this afternoon, NASDAQ OMX became aware that price quotes were not being disseminated by the Securities Information Processor (SIP), which consolidates and disseminates all prices for the industry.

"There was a connectivity issue between an exchange participant and the SIP, which led to degradation in the ability of the SIP to disseminate consolidated quotes and trades. The cause of the issue has been identified and addressed."

The organisation added: "NASDAQ OMX will work with other exchanges that are members of the SIP to investigate the issues of today, and we will support any necessary steps to enhance the platform."

The root cause of the connectivity issue has not been disclosed, nor has the identity of the affected exchange participant.

This is not the first time a technical glitch has afflicted the Nasdaq. Last year, the exchange was forced to delay Facebook's IPO due to another technical issue.

More recently, investment bank Goldman Sachs placed approximately $100 million (64.11 million) orders on the NYSE due to a technical glitch, which, although most were cancelled, damaged the bank's reputation.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.