U.S. SEC to set new rules to prevent stock market chaos

09:01, May 19, 2010      

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The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) announced new measures Tuesday to prevent a repeat of the mysterious stock swoon experienced earlier this month when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,000 points in minutes.

Under the proposed rules, exchanges would pause trading in certain individual stocks if the price moves 10 percent or more in a five-minute period, the SEC said in a statement.

On May 6, the market dropped significantly and after about 30 stocks making up the broad S&P 500 Index fell at least 10 percent in a five-minute period. In panic selling, the Dow suffered a record drop of almost 1,000 points before recouping over half those losses.

The SEC said that the new rules were filed by the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which was seeking comment on the proposals.

"The markets are proposing these rules in consultation with FINRA and staff of the SEC to provide for uniform market-wide standards for individual securities in the S&P 500 Index that experience a rapid price movement," the statement said.

"We continue to believe that the market disruption of May 6 was exacerbated by disparate trading rules and conventions across the exchanges," said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro.

"As such, I believe it is important that all the exchanges quickly reached consensus on a set of uniform circuit breakers that would be triggered when needed. Today's filings reflect that consensus. I am pleased by the constructive cooperation of the exchanges and FINRA as evidenced by their rapid response."



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