NASDAQ halted trading on Thursday as a result of what they're calling a technical issue. The stock trading exchange stopped all trading at 12:14 PM EDT.
According to a report in Reuters, the NASDAQ exchange won't cancel open orders that are already on the books. They plan to reopen stock trading with a 5-minute quote period only.
NASDAQ halted trading at 3631.17 at 12:14 and was still frozen at the figure as of 12:20 EDT, according to a tweet from NBC.
A longer report from the Wall Street Journal on the NASDAQ trading halt said even though the exchange wouldn't cancel open orders, customers had the right to do so.
As the shutdown in trading approached an hour, the US stock trading market has been plunged into chaos.
The WSJ described US markets as paralyzed at midday. With prices of NASDAQ-listed stocks, exchange-traded funds, and options all frozen, electronic trading platforms that rely on the price quotes were also forced to stop trading.
The technical issue hasn't yet been explained. And it's possible that some customers will indeed take advantage of the option to withdraw from open orders.
Conifer Securities director of equity trading Rick Fier told WSJ that he was pulling his orders. "The best thing clients can do is take a break."
Some Twitter reaction while we all try not to panic:
NASDAQ = Need Another Stock-exchange to Debut, And Quick.
— Lorcan Roche Kelly (@LorcanRK) August 22, 2013
Nasdaq stops all trading due to systems issue, plans to reopen in a limited capacity soon http://t.co/ciAkyH5upB via @engadget
— Gadjo C. Sevilla (@gadjosevilla) August 22, 2013
All Nasdaq options markets halting trading due to processor issue, report says. http://t.co/rH3yhl2iYt
— Scot Braunzell (@ScotBraunzell) August 22, 2013
The @NASDAQ has been down for an hour due to techincal problems. Therefore your productivity is irrelevant. Go to lunch.We'll have an update on the NASDAQ trading halt when we learn more.
— Sam Crews (@ellipsessam) August 22, 2013
UPDATE: NASDAQ resumed trading at 3:25 EDT. But there are still questions about what caused the NASDAQ trading halt and how to prevent it from happening again.