Thursday, August 25, 2011
HFT In Action
Now that we can directly monitor the amount of quote stuffing in the NYSE courtesy of Nanex (an ability that the SEC apparently never will have), we know that every time there is a massive spike in hollow trade (as in without intentions to cross bids or asks, something everyone but the SEC and the HFT lobby believes should be a felony offense), the market is programmed to either rip or plunge. And, sure enough, I read that just after 3:19 pm we saw an epic spike in empty packets on the NYSE, which set off red flags and immediately prompted some to observe the move in ES, which naturally confirmed that an HFT driven coordinated buy order (no block) was going through and pushing the ES well on its way to VWAP. Market manipulation no longer needs anything more than a coordinated packet stuffing dump, as what happened on May 19. Keep in mind: these work on both the upside and the downside- the reason why suddenly everyone hates HFT after loving it for over 2 years, is that while it provides volumeless levitation, it just as easily can serve as quicksand in a downmarket. That, however, does not make it right. HFT should be abolished immediately by the imposition of a minimum active quote latency. That would eliminate all quote stuffing in a millisecond.