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  • Wall Street Boosted by FOMC Minutes - 23 August 2012
  • Wall Street responded positively on Wednesday to minutes from the July 31-August 1 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee that indicated the central bank may be prepared to launch another round of monetary stimulus measures to speed up the slow recovery of the US economy. Stocks had been lower for most of Wednesday's session in response to Greece calling for extended time to meet deficit cut targets as it meets this week with officials of the European Union this week, as well as Japan's weak export statistics. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 13,172.76 being down 30.82, an improvement on its decline of 83 points earlier in the session. The Nasdaq composite index added 6.41 points to end at 3,073.67, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index, which had spent most of the day down, ended with a gain of 0.32 point at 1,413.49.

  • High-Speed Trading Back in the Spotlight - 9 August 2012
  • In days gone by, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was crowded with market-makers and other specialists trading, creating a hive of activity and a buzz of excitement. Technology has replaced this scenario with computers, and as high-speed trading continues to move ahead, fortunes can be made or lost in the blink of an eye. While being fairly low profile in the public eye, Knight Capital Group is a major market-maker for the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ stocks, making extensive use of technology programmed to place buy or sell orders based on real-time market activity. Wednesday 1 August saw Knight Capital Group lose $440 million in the space of 30 minutes due to a technical glitch, once again bringing the pros and cons of high-speed trading into the spotlight and prompting a review of past problems caused by this hi-tech trend, such as the 'flash crash' of 2010 and the Facebook IPO debacle.


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