Maureen Farrell and Hibah Yousuf
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Nasdaq OMX exchange halted trading across all securities in the early afternoon Thursday due a technical issue “until further notice.”
The Nasdaq is home to thousands of stocks, particularly technology giants, like Apple, Google and Microsoft. Trading in Nasdaq-listed options were also halted.
SEC spokesman John Nester said the agency is “monitoring the situation” and that is “in close contact with the exchanges.”
The Nasdaq said it intends to reopen trading but had not yet determined the start time. Nasdaq said customers who wish to cancel their orders can do so, and customers who wish to not participate in the re-opening of trading should cancel their orders before trading resumes.
Trading was halted due to issues with “quote dissemniation,” the exchange said in alerts sent out to traders.
The New York Stock Exchancg said it halted all Nasdaq securities at the request of the Nasdaq.
The trading glitch could be another blow to investor confidence, which has been rattled over the years by the Flash Crash in 2010, Facebook’s botched IPO, and more recently, a fat finger trade affecting China’s stock market.
Broader market: Despite troubles at the Nasdaq, the broader stock market moved higher Thursday on positive global economic news snapping the market’s recent losing streak.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 rose modestly. The Dow has ended lower for six straight days, its worst stretch since July 2012. The Nasdaq was up nearly 1% before the trading halt.
Positive economic data from both China and Europe gave investors some optimism. European markets moved solidly higher, while Asian markets ended mixed.
A survey of European purchasing managers pointed to signs that the economy may be stabilizing there. Better-than-expected data from Chinese factories gave glimmers of hope for Asia and the broader global economy.
Emerging markets breaking losing streak too? Indian markets also jumped higher after four consecutive trading days of steep losses. The Mumbai Sensex popped up by nearly 2%. Markets have fallen by 11% over the past month due to concerns about a flagging economy, political gridlock and an outflow of foreign investment money.
Fed fears fade momentarily: The Fed spooked investors on Wednesday. The minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting didn’t give many clues as to when the central bank might start pulling back on its massive bond purchase program, which has propped up equity markets. But jitters over possible “tapering” rattled investors.
Investors will continue looking Thursday for hints from the Fed, as central bankers from across the globe gather for an economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
A retail rout: Several retailers took massive hits Thursday on weak quarterly numbers.
Abercrombie & Fitch shares plummeted after the teen-oriented clothing retailer reported a slump in quarterly sales and profits and a terrible outlook.
Traders on StockTwits are worried. American Eagle Outfitters also had a lousy earnings report this week and hopes aren’t high for Aeropostale’s earnings after the bell either.
CapitalObserver: Is there a demographic issue facing teen retailers? Hard to believe they are all just performing poorly $ANF $ARO $AEO
tickertutor: $ANF My guess is most “kids” in their demographic are looking to dress more adult with offerings from the likes of $KORS and others
Sears Holding reported another quarterly loss as revenues continue to fall. Investors were not pleased.
StockTwits: #3: $SHLD is down 8%. Earnings missed the Street’s estimates this morning. Two big misses since Eddie Lampert became CEO.
Ralphed: $SHLD “Kmart Sucks”. Sears needs realize that loss and ditch them
GameStop bucked the trend in retail. The video game seller’s stock soared on better-than-expected earnings and strong guidance around the promise of new gaming consoles. Traders made light of how the stock, which has been a popular target of short sellers, continues to go higher despite many bears trying to talk it down.
FinancialJuice: GameStop $GME says sees a ‘significant positive’ for console demand
broseidon: Anyone remember when Cramer said short $GME, quoting “its in a secular decline” BAHAHA… Cramermerica gets burned agian LOL
In the world of tech, Hewlett-Packard shares dropped after the company announced its latest earnings on Wednesday, showing that PC sales are still in the dumps. HP is still top stock in the Dow this year though, as investors have high hopes for the turnaround plan of CEO Meg Whitman.
Gap and Pandora Media release results after the market close.