Officials work through night on crash probe

By Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – Government regulators worked into the night on Friday to isolate the trigger for a selling frenzy that led on Thursday to the biggest-ever intraday plunge in the Dow, a government source told Reuters.

Investigators — some who have slept for only two hours since the wild plunge of nearly 1,000 points in the Dow Jones industrial average — still do not know whether it started outside or within equity markets, said the source close to the investigation.

Politico, a news organization that covers U.S. politics and government, said regulators were eyeing a series of high-volume trades in S&P futures that originated in Chicago as the trigger.

The meltdown has fueled calls for a bigger crackdown on Wall Street.

More than 50 people are working on the probe and regulators have been calling in more to help talk to exchanges and proprietary trading firms, according to the source.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday they were still reviewing the unusual trading activity to pinpoint its cause.

Politico said officials from the SEC and CFTC briefed Washington policy-makers late on Friday on their theory of what triggered the plunge.

According to the report, investigators said the trades in Chicago were picked up by automated trading computers in New York, which in turn issued a series of sell orders.

Those trades caused more program selling, the report said.

“They can see on the tape what made it more volatile,” Politico quoted the government official as saying.

“They can see what the accelerators were. What they don’t know is what set the whole chain in motion. They’re still a few links in the chain away from that.”

Stock Market Trading

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Officials work through night on crash probe