New York Stock Exchange trading halted for 3.5 hours due to computer problem

NEW YORK CITY (BNO NEWS) -- Trading at the New York Stock Exchange was suspended for more than 3.5 hours on Wednesday due to a technical problem, though NYSE-listed securities continued to trade unaffected on other markets. The market re-opened just in time for closing.

The problem first emerged in mid-morning when costumers weren't receiving all of their messages, after which NYSE President Tom Farley decided to suspend trading. The issue was first reported on the NYSE's status page at 11:04 a.m. ET, but trading was not suspended until 11:32 a.m. NYSE Arca and NYSE Amex/Arca Options are unaffected.

It took technicians hours to resolve the issue and all open orders had to be canceled manually. Trading on the NYSE MKT, the market for small cap companies, resumed at about 3:05 p.m. ET, while trading on the NYSE resumed a few minutes later.

"The New York Stock Exchange and NYSE MKT experienced a technical issue and, consistent with our regulatory obligations, the decision was made to suspend trading as we worked to identify the cause and resolve it," a NYSE spokesperson said in a statement. "The root cause was determined to be a configuration issue."

The technical problem at the New York Stock Exchange coincided with a major computer failure at United Airlines, which forced thousands of airplanes around the world to temporarily remain grounded, but the issues were not linked. "It appears from what we know at this stage that the malfunctions at United and the stock exchange were not the result of any nefarious actor," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

The FBI said it was monitoring the situation and reached out to the NYSE to offer its assistance, but was told it was a technical problem and that no law enforcement involvement would be required. U.S. President Barack Obama was also briefed on the outage and the White House, along with other federal agencies such as the U.S. Treasury Department, were monitoring the situation.

About 50 minutes of trade was remaining when the New York Stock Exchange re-opened.

Several financial news websites experienced problems themselves when news broke that trading had been suspended at the New York Stock Exchange. The website of the Wall Street Journal went completely offline for a brief period of time, while other websites such as CNBC and Bloomberg experienced load issues.

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