The Madeleine Brand Show for August 2, 2012

Computers take stock market on a wild ride

Markets React To Results Of Fed Policy Meeting

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 1, 2012 in New York City.

Investors suffered through a bit of déjà vu yesterday, as a computer glitch affected the routing of shares of around 150 stocks, causing big swings in some share prices.

The firm that made the trades, Knight Capitol of New Jersey, said that a technical problem caused shares of a number of stocks to swing wildly for close to an hour. Wizzard Software, for example, raised to $14.76, after closing the night before at $3.50.

For investors, it was the latest breakdown in the increasingly complicated electronic systems that run stock trading. Those systems have been showing signs of strain as more traders and big investment firms use computers to carry out trades in fractions of a second.

Guest:

Heidi Moore, Marketplace New York bureau chief


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