This High School Intern’s First Day on Trading Floor Was Far From ‘Normal’

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Intern Goes to NYSE and Sees No Trading from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

It was supposed to be a window into the trading world for high school senior Matthew Duff — an easy, routine day to watch, up close, just how things work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Instead, the seventeen-year-old from Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, just saw a gaggle of confused floor traders standing around a bunch of computers after trading was halted shortly after 11:30 a.m. because of a technological glitch.

“I kind of expected everyone to be running around, you know, throwing things around, saying, ‘I need this, I need this,’ ” Duff told the Voice during the three-and-a-half-hour shutdown. “It’s a little weird, just because these things don’t happen all the time. Everyone’s just kind of standing there. Usually people are trading, doing all these things. It’s busy. Now everybody’s just standing around, trying to wait it out for some solution to the issue.”

Trading resumed a little after 3 p.m. ET after a morning filled with speculation that the glitch was related to a hack. NYSE officials denied that, saying on Twitter: “The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach.”

Duff was in New York as part of an internship he’s doing this summer with the Boston Graduate School of Business. The school’s president, Stephen Kovach, says he brought Duff to Wall Street because the teen is interested in investment management and he wanted to “expose him to a normal day on Wall Street.”

But unfortunately, Kovach added, “today is not that.” He says the “glitch” revealed itself during a tour of the trading floor. “We were standing around talking about technology and suddenly some of the monitors had a little white area go off where the quotes normally appear. Next thing we knew, we saw on the news that trading was halted.”

Kovach continued: “It was very calm. Nobody’s worrying about it. There are people in there that have been there 40 years; they’re having lunch. They’re not concerned about it at all.”