WALL STREET Turned Off On Programs

Notes WALL STREET Turned Off On Programs

As the stock market gyrated in recent weeks, the swings have been fueled by the widespread use of program trading. In this computerized practice, speculators trade stocks and stock-index futures simultaneously to profit from minute differences in prices. But program trading incited a Wall Street revolt last week as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 92.42 points to 2596.72. Faced with pressure from investors, the firms Bear, Stearns and Morgan Stanley said they will halt the use of index arbitrage, the most popular form of the | strategy. A third firm, PaineWebber, scrapped all forms of program trading.

The moves came...

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