WASHINGTON -- U.S. stock exchanges and markets must establish a uniform system for tracking all orders and trades under a rule approved Wednesday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said the requirement aims to make it easier for the government to investigate market disruptions, such as the "flash crash" two years ago that sent the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting nearly 600 points in five minutes.
The SEC voted 3-2 to require all U.S. exchanges and electronic trading platforms to keep the same form of audit trails covering orders from start to routing to execution. At the present time, audit trails vary among exchanges. Regulators say that has made it tougher to track order data.