NASDAQ Outage Ruffles Russell Reconstitution

July 2, 2001 ( - Things could be a bit unsettled on the NASDAQ today, as investment managers attempt to line up with the annual Russell index reconstitution.

Technical problems with the NASDAQ stock market on Friday prevented some orders from taking place as requested.

Russell, which rebalances its 21 US stock indexes each year effective July 1, says it will use the official NASDAQ closing prices for NASDAQ-listed securities in the Russell Indexes. Russell’s reconstitution process results in a newly adjusted stock composition for all Russell U.S. stock indexes, effective with the start of the third quarter.

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NASDAQ stock trading was interrupted at 2:30 p.m. EDT Friday after the exchange’s SelectNet and Small Order Execution Systems, or SOES, went down because of a network outage. Although the NASDAQ extended its regular trading session to 5 p.m. EDT, both SelectNet and SOES systems went down again during the extended session.

NASDAQ later canceled its after-hours trading session, which normally runs until 6:30 p.m.

The outage that shut down trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market Friday was the result of an error by a Worldcom employee that choked off the market’s communications lines at 2:30 p.m. EDT. NASDAQ experienced an intermittent network outage that suspended trading in its SOES and SelectNet trading systems for more than an hour. The network was restored at 3:33 p.m. EDT.

According to reports, a Worldcom employee accidentally switched on software still under development, causing problems to ripple through NASDAQ’s telephone network. That error complicated efforts to reboot the NASDAQ system.

Final membership lists for the Russell 1000, Russell 2000 and Russell 3000 Indexes will be will be available to all investors on after 5 p.m. PDT on July 9.