NEW YORK — A mysterious technical glitch halted trading on the Nasdaq for three hours Thursday in the latest major electronic breakdown on Wall Street, embarrassing the stock exchange that hosts the biggest names in technology, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google.
The problem sent brokers racing to figure out what went wrong and raised new questions about the pitfalls of the electronic trading systems that have come to dominate the nation’s stock markets.
Nasdaq said only that the problem lay in its system for disseminating prices.
The Nasdaq, a stock exchange dominated by some of the largest, most prosperous technology companies, sent out an alert shortly after noon that said it would stop trading. Trading resumed at 3:25 p.m. Thirty-five minutes later, the day ended with the index up 38 points, or 1 percent, at 3,638.71.
Investors are not at risk of losing any money from these glitches unless they are unlucky enough to be buying or selling a stock at the exact moment when an error occurs, forcing them to cancel their trades. During the outage, the Nasdaq said it wouldn’t cancel any orders stuck in limbo, but that customers were free to cancel their orders before trading resumed.