Reports are appearing in today's business press about a software upgrade that went bad in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Euronext’s electronic Arca trading platform.

As reported by Bloomberg News, the problem:

"... triggered what appeared to be a 9.6 percent plunge yesterday in an exchange-traded fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a drop that would have erased $7.9 billion from one of the most popular securities in the U.S. Data published by the electronic venue at 4:15 p.m. New York time showed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust at $106.46, compared with its opening level of $117.74."

According to the NYSE:

"On Monday, October 18, the 4 pm ET closing auction in NYSE Arca primary listed symbols was delayed due to an issue with a software release, causing the auction cycle to run at 4:15 pm ET. These auction prices, occurring at 4:15 pm ET, constitute the official exchange closing prices for these issues, with the exception of ‘SPY.’ All trades in the closing auction in ‘SPY,’ which occurred at a price of $106.46, were ruled to be broken by NYSE Arca Market Management. The official closing price will be marked at [4:15 pm] utilizing the valid prior print of $118.28."

The S&P index fund (SPY) affected has a market value of some $80 billion, Bloomberg says.

This latest problem comes on the heels of the report on the NYSE flash crash in May which was also traced to a software issue. Investor confidence in the stability of stock markets, which was already suffering, will not be increased by this latest problem.

The Conversation (0)

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
Vertical
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
DarkBlue1

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":["31996907"]}