A technical glitch caused the Nasdaq stock market to freeze for three hours, potentially costing shareholders and listed companies millions of dollars.
The likes of Apple, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft were all affected by the halt on trading at 12:14pm (EST), with trading partially resuming at 2:45pm (EST) and back online by 3:25pm.
America's second biggest market operator, Nasdaq released a statement stating that it became aware that price quotes were not being disseminated properly by the Securities Industries Processor (SIP), a software tool which consolidates and broadcasts all prices for the industry.
It said that it would now "work with other exchanges that are members of the SIP to investigate the issues" and said it would "support any necessary steps to enhance the platform".
The US Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) chair, Mary Jo White, released a statement emphasising that the orderly functioning of the securities markets is critically important to the health of the country's financial system and for the confidence of investors.
"The interruption in trading, while resolved before the end of the day, was nonetheless serious and should reinforce our collective commitment to addressing technological vulnerabilities of exchanges and other market participants," she stated.
She said that the SEC would work to bring forward proposals regarding new standards for trading systems and meet with the leaders of the exchanges and other major market participants to "accelerate on-going efforts to further strengthen our markets".
This was the second technical problem that has troubled US exchanges this week, after a programming error at Goldman Sachs caused unintended stock-option orders to flood American agencies.
Nasdaq itself has encountered several technical issues in the last few years. In February 2011, it confirmed that its network was hacked but there was no evidence that customer information was accessed or acquired by the hackers.
A year ago, Nasdaq suffered a trading glitch during the initial public offering (IPO) and secondary market trading of Facebook shares. It was charged by the SEC with violating security laws as a result of its "poor systems and decision making", and paid a penalty of $10m - what the SEC states is the largest ever penalty against an exchange. It later also paid $62m in reimbursements to investment firms that lost money because of the glitch.