NYSE halts trading suddenly following glitch speculation

UPDATED x6: Software and router glitches are being blamed for outages at the NYSE and United Airlines, respectively.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

A whirlwind of bad news and sudden glitches are plaguing the business and technology sectors on Wednesday morning.

The New York Stock Exchange abruptly halted trading of all securities just after 8:30AM PT/11:30AM ET.

Stocks continue to remain at a standstill with a temporary suspension in place, according to a brief note from the financial institution.

The present incident is actually the second malfunction the NYSE has incurred today, although earlier connectivity issues were already resolved.

However, NYSE's Arca online exchange and Amex/Arca Options were unaffected by the latest round of issues and are continuing normal operations.

The NYSE has not said how long it expects trading to remain halted nor the exact problem causing the shutdown except that a "technical issue" is the culprit.

Such an event is not unprecedented. For example, nearly two summers ago Nasdaq halted trading abruptly due to technical difficulties.

Markets were already in a tizzy earlier in the day following breaking news of thousands of layoffs at Microsoft along with a $7.6 billion write-down related to its Nokia acquisition.

Furthermore, the sudden halt to the trading floor came just after news that United Airlines was grounding all flights nationwide due to its own computer issues. Flights already in the air continued on course.

United's glitches, however, are said to have already been resolved although flight delays could continue throughout the day.

To top it off, some readers of the Wall Street Journal flocked to Twitter shortly after the NYSE shut down finding WSJ.com was also not working.

While that was not the case for all users, the news outlet has since temporarily switched to a simpler text format with the note, "WSJ.com is having technical difficulties. The full site will return shortly."

UPDATE: The NYSE continues to trickle out updates, including asserting the current halt was result of internal technical errors and not a security breach.

Federal officials are also reported to be looking into the incidents at both the NYSE and United, although they are not thought to be related.

UPDATE 2: Mary Jo White, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has issued the following statement:

We are in contact with NYSE and are closely monitoring the situation and trading in NYSE-listed stocks. While NYSE is working to resolve the situation, NYSE and NYSE MKT stocks continue to trade normally through other trading venues.

UPDATE 3: Reiterating internal tech glitches are to blame for the ongoing NYSE outage, the White House said during a press conference that no "nefarious actors" are thought to be involved, insisting the matter is of more concern for both the NYSE and SEC.

While it looks like software malfunctions were to blame for the NYSE (and it is still unclear when trading will resume), a router issue was pinpointed for disrupting network connectivity at United Airlines, according to the Wall Street Journal, which itself is back online.

UPDATE 4: After a "bit of a bumpy day," NYSE President Thomas Farley told CNBC that the market plans to "open for the close" at roughly 12PM PT/3PM ET.

UPDATE 5: The NYSE has posted a revised reopening timetable:

We will begin accepting orders and resume trading according to the following schedule:
    • 3:05pm NYSE MKT - Primaries only
    • 3:10pm NYSE
Closing auctions will continue as normal.

UPDATE 6: After an outage lasting more than three and a half hours, trading on the NYSE has resumed.

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