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Floor broker at the NYSE describes scene

Keith Bliss
Floor broker at the NYSE describes scene

Keith Bliss is a senior vice president at Cuttone & Co. Inc., a trading execution and prime brokerage firm with NYSE floor access.

In my time in the capital markets or working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, I have never seen a complete halt of the markets due to technology problems.  Even 9/11 cannot be considered a halt because the markets never opened that day.  This is extraordinary.
 
There was no clue, or early indication that this would happen. The music just simply stopped playing.  There is no panic on the part of the trading community and right now we are just ensuring that we are prepared when the market re-opens… Right now, there is no definite time when that may be.
 
Currently, the NYSE is going through its close-of-day process to try to complete a full re-opening process.  That means when the market re-opens (whenever that will be) they will try to make it just like a market opening at 9:30 a.m.
 
Most of the volume in this market (and most markets, for that matter) happens in the first half hour and last half hour, so the NYSE is scrambling to get us back on line for a close of the market.
 
We've been told that it is technical in nature, and there is no reason not to believe that, but I am highly interested in hearing the post-mortem on this one.