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IP: call your broker (from RISKS)
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 04:25:18 -0500

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 97 9:14:17 PST
From: "Peter G. Neumann" <neumann () csl sri com>
Subject: Stock market roller coasters

The good news is that the computer systems of the major stock exchanges
(notably NYSE and NASDAQ) seem to have held up superbly during the recent
monster trading days on 27 and 28 October 1997.  Yesterday, the NYSE and
NASDAQ each handled over a billion shares for the first time ever, with the
former at 175% of the previous blockbuster day.

The bad news is that those folks who relied on the Internet to do their
panic trading were in for a rough time.  There were huge numbers of e-trades
already queued up before opening, causing an early traffic jam.  Joseph
Konen of AmeriTrade Holding blamed some of the delays on limitations of its
firewall technology.  Many would-be Internet buyers and sellers simply could
not get access, in part because their Internet service providers were
saturated.  Many customers were blocked out because others were tying up
lines just to monitor the market.  Illustrating the extent to which Internet
trading has become a part of the markets, Schwab normally does 35 percent of
its trading on-line; yesterday's trading of more than 300,000 on-line
transactions more than doubled their Monday load and tripled their typical

[Various sources, including a front-page item by Herb Greenberg in the
*San Francisco Chronicle*, 29 Oct 1997.]

"Photons have neither morals nor visas"  --  Dave Farber 1994

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