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HFT Firm Fined $1 Million for Manipulating Nasdaq

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Athena Capital Research LLC used $40 million to rig prices of thousands of stocks including EBay Inc. for at least six months in 2009, U.S. regulators said today when fining the high-speed trading firm $1 million.

Using a system dubbed “Gravy,” Athena manipulated shares of Nasdaq-listed stocks, undermining the exchange operator’s end-of-day procedures for reducing price volatility, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. With “high-powered computers, complex algorithms and rapid-fire trades,” the New York-based firm tainted closing prices used by fund managers to track their performance, the SEC said.