"Glitch" Takes Down Nasdaq for Hours, Source Still Unkown

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 22 2013 6:43 PM

Reason Nasdaq Stock Exchange Went Dark for Hours Still Unkown

A sign welcoming Facebook is flashed on a screen outside the NASDAQ stock exchange at Times Square in New York.

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GettyImages

Trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange ground to a halt for more than three hours this afternoon due to what’s being called a “technical glitch.” The tech failure caused the world's largest electronic exchange to suspend trading just after noon. Trading resumed several hours later, but the cause of the malfunction is still unknown.

According to the New York Times DealBook, “the breakdown appears to be one of the most significant technology problems to hit a trading world that has become accustomed to glitches.” In May 2012, the highly publicized Facebook initial public offering on Nasdaq also encountered technical errors and delays. Nasdaq said it upgraded its systems technology after the mishap and paid a $10 million fine.


If an exchange experiences technical difficulties, under normal conditions, DealBook points out, "traders can direct their orders to other public exchanges. But because the problems involved the data feed from which prices are derived, all exchanges stopped trading Nasdaq stocks on Thursday." Yesterday, in a glitch-free trading day, a total of $48 billion was traded on the Nasdaq, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

As for the reason why the Nasdaq went offline, USA Today speculates it could have been hacked: "the incident had all the earmarks of the three waves of denial-of-service attacks that have bedeviled U.S. financial institutions, including stock brokerages, since last September."


Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 12:01 PM Who Is Constantine, and Should You Watch His New Show?
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.