A technical glitch stopped trading on the Nasdaq for three hours today. The exchange is home to more than 2,700 companies, including tech luminaries such as Apple, Facebook and Google. Trading resumed at 3:25 p.m.
The Nasdaq's platforms froze as well as dozens of markets around the country that trade Nasdaq securities, according to Bloomberg.
Orders placed before trading halted, or subsequently, were not cancelled by the exchange -- which, for traders or advisers with an open position, could have been "exciting, maybe in a good way; perhaps in a not-so-good way," says Bob Dannhauser, CFA, head of standards of practice and outreach at the CFA Institute.
"A skilled adviser would be watching that very carefully and removing any open orders until they could get a better sense of where the market is. It's difficult coming at the end of the trading day," he says.
Small investors were less likely to be impacted by the outage than big institutions, but still, today's anomaly could have offered a chance for advisers to prove their worth to clients by offering some reassurance.
"We've run a survey of investors to find out what builds trust, and some of the same factors that they should be talking about are highlighted in that survey," says Dannhauser. "It's no longer about the performance but giving confidence in the integrity and trustworthiness of capital markets."
Trading was halted at 12:20 p.m., according to Nasdaq. The stock price of Apple opened today at $504.99. It was on a downward slide toward noon; when trading stopped, it was around $499.50. As trading resumed, the price rebounded, and Apple closed at $502.96. It was up a bit in after-hours trading.
The website Seeking Alpha reports that a tweet from famed investor Carl Icahn about stock buybacks at Apple could have had something to do with it.
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Senior investing reporter Sheyna Steiner is a co-author of "Future Millionaires' Guidebook," an e-book written by Bankrate editors and reporters. It's available at all the major e-book retailers.