The SEC Tries Out Its New Circuit Breakers on the Washington Post
pic credit: slworking2 via Flickr
Three equity orders that pushed Washington Post Co. shares up 99 percent in less than one second yesterday show why the Securities and Exchange Commission began a program this month to halt stocks during times of volatility.
Trades totaling 766 shares at $919.18 or $929.18 crossed on NYSE Euronext’s NYSE Arca platform at 3:07:30 p.m. in New York, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The stock changed hands for $462.84 prior to the jump. The orders, later canceled, triggered a five-minute halt under rules adopted after the May 6 crash erased $862 billion from U.S. stocks in less than 20 minutes.
While the regulations didn’t prevent the erroneous orders from being placed, they may have kept more shares from being bought and sold at prices that would later have been voided, said Jefferies Group Inc.’s Art Hogan. The SEC began its circuit breaker program last week to slow down trading when faulty data or panic may be influencing the market.
Great, the SEC can stop 3 orders. What happens when we get a repeat of May 6th and the asshats way above the SEC with their fat finger on the trigger try to pull another stunt like that?