All trading has halted on the New York Stock Exchange, and the NYSE would like everyone to know that it's the result of an internal technical screwup and not a cyberattack.
The NYSE stopped trading all securities around 11.32am EST (1.32am AEST), without much explanation about what went down. Since no one exchange handles more than 16 per cent of trading, this isn't a catastrophe by any means, but it's still an unusually severe system failure.
"We're experiencing a technical issue that we're working to resolve as quickly as possible. We're doing our utmost to produce a swift resolution & will be providing further updates as soon as we can," the NYSE said in a statement. It went on Twitter to refute rumours that the shutdown was a result of a cyberattack:
(1 of 3) The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach.
— NYSE (@NYSE) July 8, 2015
Homeland Security Secretary Johnson also made a point to rule out "nefarious" activity as the cause of the mysterious glitch.
BREAKING: Homeland Secretary Johnson: Problems at United, #NYSE apparently not related to 'nefarious' activity
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) July 8, 2015
According to Bloomberg, it appears NYSE is preparing to reopen, though it hasn't clarified exactly what caused the glitch.
China's stock exchange melted down yesterday as well, but the events appear unrelated, since in China the exchange halt was due to nosediving prices and not any technical problem. United Airlines also struggled through a disruptive technical failure today and insists that it wasn't hackers. It's good that today isn't a bellwether day for cyberattacks. But if these are truly just major internal errors, it's a bellwether day for exposing how fallible large-scale tech systems are, which is nothing to celebrate.
The NYSE as of 12pm today. Picture: Twitter