A string of malfunctions and errors have draw attention to problems at high speed trading exchanges in the new year, just as regulators are taking an increasingly close look at these computer powered stock swappers. It culminated on Wednesday evening with a major discovery, reported by the NY Times, that the BATS Global Markets, (the nation’s third-largest stock exchange operator), had alerted its customers "that a programming mistake had caused about 435,000 trades to be executed at the wrong price over the last four years, costing traders $420,000." The SEC has said it does not have the ability to properly regulate this sector right now, and is working on new initiatives, a well as considering new regulations to help it better monitor this growing sector of the markets. Regular mom and pop investors, meanwhile, seem to have been scared off by all the computer problems. While high frequency trading continues to expand, the total volume of trading fell more than 17 percent from 2011 to 2012.
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