Visualizing The Halt Of America's Largest Publicly Traded Company Due To A HFT Glitch

Tyler Durden's picture

Today, at 10:33:37 am, America's largest publicly traded company, Exxon Mobile (sorry, any surge in AAPL to the top market cap position in the US is truly the only realistic use of the word "transitory" in the past year) was halted after an errant trade printed outside of normal trading parameters and freaked out the artificial regulatory limiters. Naturally the trade was DKed, but for a few minutes one of the bellweather American stocks was out of commission due to the post-modern equivalent of a fat finger: an algo that was programmed to aggressively hit any bid, well below the NBBO. Luckily, this happened well after the rumor of a short selling ban was implanted in the traders' psyche, and markets were largley higher. Had XOM been halted as the S&P was down several percent, who knows what panic would have gripped the stock market forcing many to dump their holdings of viable stocks. And this will continue for as long as the SEC does not comprehend that the fact that US capital markets are broken is well and fully understood by most retail investors and which is why they have pulled over $160 billion from equity mutual funds since 2010.

XOM wide angle - follow the white dot.

and XOM, close up, and again, follow the white dot.

Source: Nanex

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FreakuentFlyer's picture

which venue printed this trade?

crazyjsmith's picture

BANK OF AMERICA is not showing my checking or savings accounts this morning.  My accounts have totally disappeared, my wife's accounts have totally disappeared. 

Called in, been on hold for 30 minutes after they have already hung up on me once.  I am sure there is no reason to panic...yet

Argentina anyone?

ReallySparky's picture

And everybody here is wondering why you are even banking there.  Please immediately withdraw your funds and put them in a strong local bank, most preferably a strong local credit union.  I used to bank there,  pulled in by the preffered customer bullshit, prior to the awakening.  I would rather have my checking account safe than my ego.  Really why bank with villians?

pods's picture

Might I suggest finding a new bank?


crazyjsmith's picture

Yeah, I know.  This was their last move.  I have been to several local banks this past week - this was basically my direct deposit bank only, company I work for has a relationship with these crooks.  Still not enough reason to go against my ethics... I am out

pods's picture

Well change is tough.  My BIL works for them.  He is a great guy, but I had to close my CC acount with them, as I closed all my credit accounts.  If I had credit, it would be through a credit union.

Be careful of even credit unions.  Mine was on the FDIC watchlist as of last year.  Haven't kept up with them, but they are still open.


Widowmaker's picture

BAC = definition of fraud and failure rewarded (moral hazard).

With your patronage you support their criminal racket, thus should expect [and deserve] to see none of your wealth again. 

Sorry, I hope you lose it because I'm sick of paying for it.

WineSorbet's picture

Broken Bitchezzzz! 


THere I said it.

i-dog's picture

"this will continue for as long as the SEC does not comprehend that the fact that US capital markets are broken"

Who seriously thinks that  the SEC "does not comprehend" the consequences of their lack of action. It's part of the fucking plan!

centerline's picture

The modern battlefield, made more visible by Nanex and ZH.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You mean the modern (HFT gang) rapefield, made more visible by Nanex and ZH.

centerline's picture

Just wait until they turn to eat each other!

Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

Its Not Just Stocks Blowing Up Folks!

*****Volcanic eruptions off Oregon and Alaskan Coastlines in Progress...

*****OT: The Creek...short film.

Parallel to knocking your head in the Stock Market...

slaughterer's picture

This algo is clearly not THE DISRUPTOR.  It must be THE THROWER.

speconomist's picture

I know these kind of images of Nanex from HFT bots are quite usual, but isn't it somehow difficult for some of you to analyze/understand them?? Would love to see some kind of explanation to interpret them.

hackettlad's picture

Only Americans use the word "transitory" - everyone else says "transient".  The FT quote marks "transitory" when it cites the Bernank.

Josh Randall's picture

Time to change the name back to ESSO

slaughterer's picture

There are about 12 different popular algo programs on the market.  Money center banks like WFC and the Asians are buying them up to better serve their institutional clients.  Recent trend is in "low-contact" algos for low-volume stocks.  Whenever you get cornered by one of these in a low-volume issue, your life becomes a living nightmare as a trader.   Paranoid thoughts fill you with despair as you realize your broker sold your trade information to an algo system that rips you apart in the fight of man and machine.

Biff Malibu's picture

Wow! Someone got a really good deal! They must use 'extreme couponing'

RobotTrader's picture

I don't see any XOM gyrations on my screen.

Stock has been trading in a tiny narrow range all day.

Same with CVX and COP.

slaughterer's picture

You need a SOTA  trading tracking system to follow algos.    The DKed trades usually do not show up on most trading monitors. 

hackettlad's picture

What's your view on the current market rout in the light of your earlier (recent) comments about the market trending upwards?

slaughterer's picture

I only trade day-by-day, and today (just today) the technicals of the ES and S&P are fairly bullish.  This might change after 2pm when the MF redemptions come in.

I would go along with either Tyler's 1050 support level or Marc Faber's 1010 support level, but that needs another week or so.  Until then, I am just battling the bots as best I can on six screens (one of which is perpetually reserved for ZH).

Long-John-Silver's picture

Skynet is probing it's environment as it becomes self aware. 

Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

"the fact that US capital markets are broken is well and fully understood by most retail investors and which is why they have pulled over $160 billion from equity mutual funds since 2010."

I would contend that "most" retail investors don't know much of anything except that they are probably so strapped for cash with downsizing or other longterm unemployment that they *must* cash in their 401k money. Unfortunately too many folks I talk to about trading their own acct will not apply any personal responsibility, control or knowledge, but merely blub half-heartedly when they have losses. Even cargo cults had a more causative viewpoint on trying to attract prosperity.

As for XOM shit canning, I could only hope for such luck to the original Monty Burns (D. Rockefeller).

RobotTrader's picture

Futures have cleared yesterday's highs

Caviar Emptor's picture

Let's add to the list of Wall Street (and CNBS's) favorite list of bullshit adages for the stock market:


You've all heard: "It's not a stock market, it's a market of stocks"...

Today we proudly add :  "It's not a stock market, it's a market of BOTS!!!" 

slaughterer's picture

You owe me a new screen.  Would love to see Becky spout that out.

slaughterer's picture

If we can close at 1200 tomorrow the IBD cup-and-handle squad will come back into the market to buy their favorite IBD 100 stocks next week.  

prophet's picture

"viable stocks" 


slaughterer's picture

TBT got algoed yesterday. XOM today.  Pretty soon the ultimate target: SPY!

citta vritti's picture

which means, the Rod Serling and the Outer Limits rules now apply: don’t touch that dial, we control the horizontal (time), we control the vertical (price). Shows us who controls bartertown. 

DarkStarDog's picture

hears a BooYah !!!  for you TD ,  look at SODA   LOL !

Greater Fool's picture

Um, can somebody explain to me why trades like these get busted? I've never noticed that any of the retail brokerages offer free stupidity insurance.

lizzy36's picture

There is no reason why these trader should get dk'd.

Best thing that could happen to a market not being regulated by regulators, but rather being facilitated by regulators:allow all trades to stand.

A couple of traders stuck with these shitty prints, and pretty soon we wouldn't see them as often.

As long as they continue to get bailed out, there is less than ZERO incentive to change thier Algo's/behavior.

JW n FL's picture

The Story of Citizens United v. FEC (2011)

Story of Citizens United v. FEC, The Critique <--------------- Koch Brothers! at work!

i-dog's picture

"Koch Brothers! at work"

Correction: Logic at work! He absolutely demolishes Annie Leonard's liberal propaganda piece.

Jason_1sandal's picture

Bad algo... bad, bad.... no zeros for you today, only ones

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