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Exchanges join forces to harmonize trading halts

Joe Mont | August 11, 2016

It was nearly one year ago—on Aug. 24, 2015—that chaos struck the stock market. More than 1,200 stocks and exchange-traded funds suffered trading halts and subsequent pricing irregularities.

Market volatility that day was, in part, a by-product of fears regarding the Chinese economy that took root at the start of the trading day. The good news is that limit-up/limit-down protocols adopted by exchanges after the 2010 “flash crash”—intended as a sort of circuit breaker to freeze trading in times of extreme volatility and radical pricing swings—were triggered in an effort to prevent market-wide contagion. It was clear, however, that problems that day were exacerbated by inconsistencies in when and how exchanges responded.

Now, in response, three major exchange groups—Bats Global Markets, Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange –announced this week they are...

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