The Stock Market Bell Rings, Computers Fail, Wall Street Cringes

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Problems with technology have at times roiled global financial markets, but the 223-year-old New York Stock Exchange has held itself up as an oasis of humans ready to step in when the computers go haywire.

On Wednesday, however, those working on the trading floor were left helpless when the computer systems at the exchange went down for nearly four hours in the middle of the day, bringing an icon of capitalism’s ceaseless energy to a costly halt.

The exchange ultimately returned to action shortly before the closing bell, and stocks continued trading throughout the day on other exchanges, like the Nasdaq and BATS Global Markets.

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