NYSE president: 'Nothing new under the sun' but a crush of selling caused the meltdown

  • Tom Farley says the stock market functioned correctly despite the tumult late in the afternoon.
  • "There's nothing new under the sun" but a crush of selling that caused the meltdown, he says.

Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange, said Monday the stock market functioned correctly despite the tumult late in the afternoon.

"There's nothing new under the sun" but a crush of selling that caused the meltdown, Farley told CNBC moments before the closing bell, which saw the Dow Jones industrial average down 1,175 points after earlier bottoming down nearly 1,600-points in a matter for minutes. At one stage, the worst losses of the day were cut in half before more selling happened.

"There's always been volatile days. It just so happens that the Dow is at a higher level so it's the biggest Dow drop off ever," Farley said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

The Dow had hit a record high on Jan. 26.

On a typical day, the exchange trades about 6.5 billion shares industry wide, Farley said. He said Monday the number will be closer to 11 billion shares.