...The technical issue resulted in a trading halt, which was like holding back Lake Mead at the Hoover Dam with no water being released. Normally volatility affects every market, however a strong opening after a jumpy market week had no affect on MicroCaps until the market finally opened at 1:32 PM EST. I was wondering about what might have happened - all we knew was that FINRA halted OTC Markets. Was it due to order imbalances? Or a technical glitch? Or a disaster of greater proportion?! As a trader I would be freaking out.
Sitting in front of a screen helpless is enough to make most ill tempered, ADD nervous wreck traders, and as a group desperate for instantaneous gratification, each second of no action is like being stuck on the top car of a halted Ferris wheel. Screaming won't help. Stopped order flow fulfillment and communications freezing is too much for some. Adding to the problem was that the market was running higher, the volatility needle was beyond full, and the press is treating the halt like it was nothing. Ho Hum? All I heard was Netflix, and reporters in the NYSE blue room praising the earnings of Morgan Stanley, meanwhile OTC players were chewing on their limbs.
Today, I wished we could have been more informed, and that more coverage would have been available on the details especially what happened? What could someone do to trade elsewhere, and where were the alerts as to when it would reopen. Lack of information cuts right to the main issue of the changes regarding market transparency.
Can this happen again? Was OTC Markets hacked? Did the imbalance overwhelm the software or servers? Is there something investors can do to prepare for an event similar or worse than what occurred today? Just suppose the market never opened Friday - could I trade OTC securities anywhere else on the planet? Like Frankfurt, Bermuda? Canada? How were multi-listed stocks affected?
I just know from my own experience that answers to these questions will fall to the wayside because the markets are open and traders external limbs are saved and we are all back to Ebola and canceling plans to fly through Dallas airport. Did traders benefit from out smarting the rest of us investors? Perhaps one day we'll know.
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