The New York Stock Exchange, a subsidiary of NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX), had to suspend trading in 216 securities yesterday due to computer problems as it migrated these stocks to a new trading platform. The computer server in question is responsible for matching buy/sell orders as well as processing transactions. However the stocks affected by this problem, including United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) and The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV), continued trading on other exchanges such as NASDAQ (NASDAQ:NDAQ) and NYSE Euronext’s electronic Arca system.
While overall trading was not significantly affected, the problem prevented what’s known as the closing auction for these 216 stocks. Closing prices on the NYSE are important to fund managers, brokers and various stock market indices who use them to calculate values.
Other recent computer-related incidents include the delay in Facebook’s IPO, trading errors causing $457 million in losses for Knight Capital Group, and the withdrawal of BATS Global Markets’ IPO. Generally, the quest for ever-faster trading directly or indirectly leads to such high profile mishaps.