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NYSE trader Doreen Mogavero

'Flash Freeze' Shows Complexity of Markets

A glitch that brought the Nasdaq all-electronic market grinding to a halt Thursday afternoon further highlights the complexity of today's markets, giving birth to a new series of crashes and glitches that were unfathomable 10 years ago.Thursday's "Flash Freeze," the name of which plays on the May 2010 "Flash Crash" that erased 1,000 points from the Dow Industrials in just minutes, underscores the risks of operating in a very complicated marketplace."There are 13 exchanges and 40 plus dark pools all connected by a very loose glue," said Sal Arnuk, co-author of Broken Markets and partner at Themis Trading. "Things like this were unthinkable 10 years ago."The cause of the halt, first announced through an alert sent by Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDSAQ:NDAQ) at around 12:15 p.m. ET, has not been identified. But the exchange is pointing to a UTP-SIP issue, a potential glitch affecting the distribution of stock quotes."We are so dependent on these machines to execute these trades that we don't even ...

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