FBI joins SEC in computer trading probe

The FBI has joined securities regulators to tackle the potential threat of market manipulation posed by sophisticated computer trading strategies that have taken markets beyond the scope of traditional policing.

FBI agents have joined forces with a new unit within the Securities and Exchange Commission that examines hedge funds and other firms that are using algorithm trading strategies.

The SEC’s Quantitative Analytics Unit is looking at abuses that might arise from the emergence of high-frequency trading firms and the use of dark pool (off exchange) trading. Traders using these methods can manipulate the market by flooding it with quotes, known as quote stuffing, or placing millions of orders that are quickly cancelled, to drive others to trade in ways that benefit their position, a practice known as layering. Continue reading "FBI joins SEC in computer trading probe"