Financial Markets:

Status of Computer Improvements at the New York Stock Exchange

IMTEC-88-35: Published: Apr 27, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the status of the New York Stock Exchange's (NYSE): (1) corrective actions to its automated order processing systems; (2) plans for an independent assessment of its computer operations; and (3) efforts to improve its systems capacity planning process. GAO also reviewed the Security and Exchange Commission's (SEC) plans to review the adequacy of NYSE automated data processing systems.

GAO found that NYSE, to achieve its goal for a system which can handle a trading volume of 600 million shares a day: (1) now has 11 major computer systems supporting stock trading; (2) replaced old equipment to process certain types of orders; (3) added more printers, display terminals, and specialist trading posts to the floor; (4) plans to conduct a full-scale test of its updated system; (5) plans to contract for an independent assessment of its systems; and (6) refined its translation of anticipated trading volumes into associated systems requirements. GAO also found that SEC: (1) has no current plans to acquire additional technical resources to independently assess NYSE trading systems; and (2) believes that its planned review of the NYSE automated systems assessment will fulfill its regulatory responsibility. GAO believes that: (1) NYSE needs to assess the effectiveness of the system's floor devices, timeliness of order processing, and software and hardware limitations; and (2) SEC needs to expand its technical capability to review exchanges' independent assessments and conduct its own assessments.

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