May 12, 2010
By Edward Wyatt and Graham Bowley
Regulators examining the causes of the brief stock market free fall last Thursday are looking closely at heavy selling in the market for stock-index futures by a single trader, beginning 10 minutes before stock prices began to plummet.
Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said at a Congressional hearing on Tuesday that during that crucial time period, the futures trader, whom he would not identify, accounted for about 9 percent of trading volume in the most actively traded stock-index derivative contract, known as the 500 e-mini futures contract.
All of the trader’s orders were to sell, Mr. Gensler said, while most of the other 250 traders who were active in the same market that day were both buying and selling securities…
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Last Updated: August 5, 2010