US probes high-speed firms

Elizabeth Fournier
REGULATORS in the US have issued subpoenas to several firms involved in high-speed trading, as part of ongoing investigations into last year’s flash crash, which saw the Dow Jones plummet more than 700 points in a matter of minutes.

After a general investigation into the disruption by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission last year, regulators are now probing specific firms to determine if individual trading managed to aggravate the situation on 6 May 2010.

According to the Wall Street Journal, subpoenas have been sent out to several firms since the start of the summer.

Despite the legal action, no suggestion of wrongdoing is implied by the writ, making it unclear whether enforcement actions could follow the investigation.

The SEC declined to comment on the ongoing investigation last night.

Last year’s joint report pointed to “an automated trade execution system”, which flooded the market with a $4.1bn (£2.5bn) sell order and sent stocks plunging.