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.