SEC mulls flash crash plan extension

US regulators are considering a three-month extension to their pilot programme that gives stocks a reprieve when they are in freefall, people familiar with the situation said yesterday. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) circuit-breaker programme expires on 10 December and the regulator is under pressure to find permanent solutions to bolster market integrity after the May “flash crash.” The circuit breakers pause trading in a company’s stock when it is dropping precipitously. The SEC is now trying to craft measures known as “limit up/limit down” that would slow, not stop, trading when markets fall. Now the SEC is considering extending its circuitbreaker programme by at least three months to give the exchanges time to implement new measures, said the sources.