Senate Panel to Probe Computerized Trading

A U.S. Senate panel will examine computerized trading, after a recent series of technology glitches that has eroded investor confidence in financial markets and alarmed regulators.

A Senate Banking subcommittee focused on financial markets plans to hold a hearing on the topic in the "near future," a spokesman for Senator Jack Reed, chairman of the subcommittee, said on Wednesday.

The spokesman, Chip Unruh, declined to provide details of who will appear at the hearing or when it will be scheduled by the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment.

The plans for a hearing come as U.S. securities regulators are scheduled to host an October roundtable discussion to examine technologies in today's market and what kind of controls may be needed to promote market stability and prevent glitches that can scare off investors.

The recent interest in market structure issues follows a software error last month that cost Knight Capital Group $440 million in trading losses and nearly bankrupted the firm.

Regulators and lawmakers are also examining Nasdaq OMX Group for its handling of Facebook Inc's botched initial public offering last May, which led to hundred of millions of dollars in losses among market-making firms and brokerages. House and Senate committees have said they plan to review the issues surrounding the IPO.

Reed is also scheduled to speak next week at a Security Traders Association conference on market structure in Washington.

Congress held a series of hearings after the May 6, 2010, "flash crash," when the Dow Jones industrial average plunged about 700 points before rebounding, but no legislation came out of those sessions.