NYSE, Nasdaq Fight Over Self Help, 'False Positives'

In response to allegations by Eric Noll (Nasdaq's executive vice president for U.S. transaction services) that part of the reason for the market's drop last Thursday was "data communication issues" with NYSE Arca, NYSE spokesperson Ray Pellechia said in an email to me:

"All the markets were experiencing large waves of selling that made them slower than usual, but we had absolutely no data communication issues."

In response to the statement that the Nasdaq had declared "self-help" (refused to route orders) against NYSE Arca, NYSE spokesman Rich Adamonis said, "There are all kinds of false positives for self help, and people declare against us sometimes for no reason at all."

Self-help can occur when there is any variation in data transmission, for example if data transmission occurs in 1 millisecond, and if it moves to 2 milliseconds, exchanges can declare “self-help” even if the rest of the world is doing the same thing.

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