Glitch forces Ameritrade to trade by phone : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

February 08, 2001 @802 Daily News Glitch forces Ameritrade to trade by phone By Dick Kelsey February 07, 2001

Online broker Ameritrade Holdings Corp. was forced to trade by telephone Monday when decimal points disappeared from stock quotes provided by ComStock, Standard & Poor's quote service.

The glitch stemmed from a "problem with ComStock quotes," an Ameritrade spokesman said Monday. The missing decimals were first noticed soon after the open of trading.

Customers were directed to complete transactions with a broker via an 800 telephone number at the lower online fee, Ameritrade said.

Standard & Poor's said ComStock software "misinterpreted" a new message format introduced today by the Nasdaq Exchange as part of the market's switch to decimal trading.

Repairs were "completed by 1 p.m. (EST), at which point all real-time trade and quote messages were sent correctly," S&P corporate communications director Michael said late Monday.

ComStock provides stock quotes and other market data to thousands of brokerages, investors, Internet portals and other customers.

The New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange finished the conversion to decimals on Jan. 30, putting them in step with markets worldwide. The Nasdaq is expected to complete its transition before the Securities and Exchange Commission deadline of April 9.

"Apparently while everyone realized (decimal trading) is the way to go, there are so many moving parts involved in this that we're all experimenting a little bit," Privitera said. "Problems arise less and less as everyone harmonizes their technology and our computers learn to speak to one another."

Reported by,

-- Martin Thompson (, February 08, 2001

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