All occurring Wednesday morning, trading was halted for more than two hours on the New York Stock Exchange floor after an internal technical issue was detected, a cyber-glitch at United Airlines grounded flights worldwide, and the Wall Street Journal newspaper experienced a temporary online outage.
Trading at the NYSE stopped around 11:30 a.m. ET though NYSE-listed shares continued to trade on other exchanges.
The New York Stock Exchange, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange and is the world’s largest stock exchange based on market capitalization, has experienced technical difficulties in the past. However, Wednesday’s issue by all accounts was out of the ordinary.
Shortly after the outage, the NYSE tweeted that the issue was internal and not a breach.
“The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach,” the exchange tweeted. “We chose to suspend trading on NYSE to avoid problems arising from our technical issue.”
The night before the New York Stock Exchange temporarily suspended trading due to an “internal technical issue,” the hacker ‘Anonymous’ had a cryptic message for Wall Street on Twitter.
“Wonder if tomorrow is going to be bad for Wall Street…. we can only hope,” said the tweet posted at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Wonder if tomorrow is going to be bad for Wall Street…. we can only hope.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) July 8, 2015
Separately, a computer system glitch left thousands of United Airlines passengers across the globe grounded Wednesday, causing a ripple effect of heavy delays throughout major airports.
— Heidi Voight (@HeidiVoight) July 8, 2015
About 3,500 flights were affected and the airline sought to recover after the ground stop was lifted. Aviation experts said that delays of even 90 minutes could have a snowball effect triggering flight delays at each late flight’s destination.
The delays could reach 235 domestic and 138 international destinations.
The ground stop was lifted around 9:20 a.m. for United’s regional carriers, which can perform their own weight and balance checks.
Passengers at airports from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Washington, D.C., to Florida complained of system backups and long lines. Gate agents at some locations were forced to write tickets by hand.
— Jeff Rossen (@jeffrossen) July 8, 2015
The third technical difficulty came for the website of the Wall Street Journal, which also appeared to go dark for a short time. According to a spokeswoman, the newspaper’s site experienced an outage starting at about 11:45 a.m.
The Journal’s website was partially restored later, and a message at the top of its homepage advised readers that the site was experiencing “technical difficulties,” and that the full site would “return shortly.” It returned fully around noon EDT. The cause of the outage is still being investigated, the spokeswoman said in an email.
However, based on what’s known now, it’s highly unlikely to be the result of a coordinated cyberattack.
United temporarily grounded all flights because of a problem in the way its own computers speak to each other.
The NYSE suspended trading due to an internal “technical issue” involving computers only at the stock exchange.
And WSJ.com went down because its computer servers weren’t responding quickly enough. They might have just been overloaded.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson tried to allay fears, saying, “It appears from what we know at this stage that the malfunctions at United and at the stock exchange were not the result of any nefarious actor.”
He added, “We know less about the Wall Street Journal at this point except that their system is back up again as is the United Airline system.”