At 11:32 AM ET, trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted due to technical issues. While such an event is unsettling and raises concerns about everything from investment dollars to cyber security, it’s important to remember that stocks listed on the NYSE trade on 11 other exchanges including the NASDAQ.
“Your 401(K) money is safe. Your stocks are safe. Orders get executed in many places. Investors should relax,” says Art Hogan, Managing Director, Chief Market Strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
Hogan does say, however, that things could get messy if the technical glitch is not fixed by the close of trading at 4:00 PM ET.
“It’s fine to have stocks trading on other exchanges throughout the day, but there has to be a set closing price. When you consider that 20% of the volume on the exchange is done at the open and close, that could get complicated.”
The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 184 points when the halt occurred, trading at 17,592. Investors have been unnerved by the debt crisis in Greece and the drop in the Chinese stock market.
Shutdowns like this are rare. The last news grabbing halt, the “Flash Freeze,” occurred in August of 2013. It was determined that there was an internal technical problem and not an external attack. Thus far, the government and the exchange are closely monitoring the situation but have made no mention of suspicion or foul play.