NEW YORK -- The American Stock Exchange said system problems forced it to halt trading in options on equities and indexes two hours early yesterday.
Equity options trading was halted at 2: 08 p.m. Eastern time, and index options trading was halted at 2: 22 p.m., said Arda Nazerian, an exchange spokeswoman. The problem couldn't be resolved in time to resume trading before the 4: 02 p.m. close, the exchange said.
Brokers who trade in options said the problem could prove costly for some clients who were unable to close out their options positions as stock prices soared.
The exchange upgraded its computer system yesterday to double the number of options orders it could handle, and an unspecified problem developed, Nazerian said.
"In the interest of investors, since orders couldn't be processed, it was decided to halt options trading," Nazerian said.
The exchange said the problem should be resolved in time for today's trading. "At this point, we expect to be up and running and hopefully everything will be back to normal," said spokesman Dan Noonan.
Pub Date: 9/17/97