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Capital Markets

The winter’s tale: shares sell slower when it snows

To get an edge in trading, check the weather forecast.

NYSE-snow-R-960x535.png
Snow begins to fall in front of the New York Stock Exchange

In 2019 the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) applied for permission to plop a new piece of kit on the roof of its data centre in Mahwah, New Jersey. The microwave antenna was controversial as soon as the town’s zoning board said it could go ahead – the approval granted only enough capacity for one provider.

The new antenna bypassed the wired ‘last mile’, which is in fact about a quarter of a mile of fibre optic cable running from the nearest commercial antennae to the Mahwah data centre. To customers happy to pay NYSE as much as $45,000 for access, the new antenna would open the door to the awesome prize of fractionally lower latency. Those that cannot do so will be losers in the data race.

The stakes were high. Market makers, including Virtu Financial, complained to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the arrangement gave a monopoly to NYSE’s own connectivity division, Secure Transaction Financial Infrastructure.

The move, said Virtu, had the effect of moving the NYSE’s “floor” to the roof of its data centre.


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