Nasdaq Hardware Error Briefly Hobbles Service Dark Pools Use

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. experienced a brief malfunction in a service that some dark pools and other off-exchange platforms rely upon to function, temporarily hobbling part of the U.S. stock market.

The Nasdaq TRF was unavailable at the start of trading at 9:30 a.m. New York time. The hardware error was fixed by 9:42 a.m., according to Joseph Christinat, a Nasdaq spokesman.

U.S. stock trading is spread across more than 50 venues, including 11 exchanges such as the Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange. The rest is done on alternative markets like dark pools. Many of those venues conduct business in secret, but they still have to report any trades they handle through feeds such as the Nasdaq TRF.

Any dark pool that only connected to the Nasdaq TRF may have been unable to operate during the 12-minute disruption.

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