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Officials attempt to understand why Nasdaq shut down for three hours yesterday

Officials attempt to understand why Nasdaq shut down for three hours yesterday
Photo from NBC News

POSTED: Friday, August 23, 2013 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Friday, August 23, 2013 - 7:04am

This morning, questions are rippling through Wall Street and Washington... after an unprecedented shutdown...a Nasdaq systems failure on Thursday. Many, wondering about the potential dangers of super-fast electronic trading systems that now dominate the nation's stock markets.

After yesterday's debacle officials are scrambling this morning to find out what went wrong and keep something like this from ever happening again.

Nasdaq says it stopped trading after discovering price quotes weren't being disseminated properly, and blame the freeze on a connectivity problem with an arm of the New York Stock Exchange. "This is just another reminder of just how fragile American markets can be," said Eamon Javers, CNBC Washington.

It's the latest hit for Nasdaq. home to more than 2700 stocks like Apple and Microsoft. It's still blamed for last year's failed Facebook offering. "Technology will always have glitches. But exchanges have to be prepared for them otherwise our capital markets are going to crumble and that's simply not acceptable," Former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt.

World markets were unaffected by the Nasdaq freeze, but today, the Securities and Exchange Commission meets with other market players and exchange executives to talk about regulatory practices after yesterday's glitch. "I think there needs to be huge fines on this, but I also think the system has to be righted," said Harvey Pitt Former SEC Chairman.

"There are going to be enormous numbers of lawsuits filed as investors try to figure out who lost what, how much they lost and who's to blame for that loss," said Eamon Javers, CNBC Washington.

Though stocks actually climbed by the day's end questions remain about the "stability" of electronic trading.

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