Can anyone on Wall Street run an exchange?
Fresh from getting an earful from a top regulator over tech breakdowns, a New York Stock Exchange Euronext-operated platform experienced a glitch on Monday – causing a disruption in options trading.
The tech wreck shut down options trading for about 20 minutes – from about 1:40 p.m. until 2 p.m. – as the Options Price Reporting Authority, or OPRA, was rebooted.
A programming update of OPRA, which disseminates options pricing data to other exchanges, seems to have been the culprit.
Insiders described the snafu as “isolated,” but that is unlikely to convince Securities and Exchange Commission boss Mary Jo White that everything is hunky-dory on the Street.
Just last week, White ordered the top brass at the NYSE and Nasdaq to a Washington, DC, meeting to discuss the tech meltdown afflicting the exchanges.
An epic three-hour halt of Nasdaq OMX’s trading platform on Aug. 22 sparked the meeting.
White ordered the exchanges to come up with a solution.
But it took only until 10:30 a.m. Monday for the next glitch to hit.
It was then that NYSE officials noticed problems with options quotes in OPRA and decided to revert to the older software, and refresh the system.
NYSE’s problems pale in scope next to Nasdaq’s freeze, which was caused by the exchanges securities information processor, or SIP, and resulted in the halting of more than 2,700 publicly traded companies for several hours.
However, NYSE’s malfunction follows a number of both major and minor tech problems that have dogged the exchanges in recent weeks.
“Technology breaks and unfortunately we deal with this in everyday life,” Andy Nybo head of derivatives at the Tabb Group told The Post.
“All you can do is build the necessary rules and recovery protocols in the system so that if you need to turn off the system you have a procedure in place to restart or reboot,” he noted.
Officials at the NYSE said that they are still reviewing the problem and expect to have more details on the OPRA malfunction on Tuesday.
A handful of trades were busted due to the glitch but specifics around those trades could not be determined.