Trading at the NASDAQ stock exchange came to a screeching halt on Thursday afternoon, following what is being called a “technical glitch.” Trading did not resume until three hours later.
The unexpected downtime threw trading into an uproar for thousands of stocks, including major names like Apple and Facebook.
As reported by NBC News, the shutdown evoked immediate criticism from Wall Street.
“This is such an embarrassment to the entire financial community. To have the Nasdaq go down as it has; to be down three hours – it’s one thing to be down for five minutes – to be down for three hours is absolutely inexcusable,” said Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, in the NBC News story.
“It reminds me of sitting at the US Airways terminal and hearing nothing from nobody and you’re getting angrier by the hour,” he said.
The halt in trading began on a stock-by-stock basis at 12:18 p.m. ET, with trades resuming at 3:25 p.m.
Thursday’s computer glitch is reminiscent of the “flash crash” that occurred in 2010 when several hundred points were erased from the Dow Jones industrial average in a matter of minutes.
NASDAQ is the second-biggest American market operator, home to 3,200 companies from 37 countries.
A statement from NASDAQ does not address the exact cause of the shutdown.