Stock-Market Supercomputer to Launch With Glitches


Giant stock orders database conceived after 2010 ‘flash crash’ to have limited functionality

By Dave Michaels | 14 November 2018

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — A data warehouse created to track all U.S. stock and options orders is expected to launch on Thursday with less functionality than previously anticipated including limits on how many users can search it, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the creation of the Consolidated Audit Trail in 2012 after regulators found they didn’t have enough information to explain a sudden market decline, known as the “flash crash,” that occurred in May 2010. One SEC commissioner, Kara Stein, has said the database could become the “Hubble telescope of securities markets.”

A group of stock and options exchanges overseeing the audit trail missed a deadline in November 2017 to begin reporting data to the repository. Now, their contractor hasn’t been able to link all types of orders submitted by exchanges despite a prolonged testing period, the people said. Although exchanges will submit data to the system on Thursday, multiple users including regulators won’t be able to efficiently search its records because the volume of data is too great for the structure of the database, the people said.

While most exchange operators have data businesses that sell slices of their order books to high-frequency traders, they and their contractor have struggled to stitch their systems together as one complete record of all market activity. […]

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