Working with the Current Hectic Market Environment

The trading environment since the beginning of May has been very different from most of the summers I have seen. Here are some tips to ensure your trading goes as smoothly as it can be.

Data Lag

From our observation, all data vendors are experiencing some form of lag in data delivery during the past 2 weeks of extremely heavy trading. The lagging is caused by flood of real-time data that is probably not expected to happen (at least within a few years from now) by most data vendors.

For example, the real-time tick data for Apple Computer (symbol AAPL) has an average of 100K size per day back in the beginning of this year. And now, it is a few megabytes per day. That means, we are experiencing 10 times the trading activities for some symbols comparing to just 6 months ago.

To reduce the workload of your computer and probably reducing some data lag, try to reduce the number of symbols you are monitoring in real-time.

Order Placement Problems

We have reports from users that their order placement software from various brokerages are not working or stopped working during market hours from a few minutes to half and hour from time to time.

Think about the number of transactions we have talked about in the previous section. If the number of recorded trades are 10 times normal, then think about the number of orders placed and not filled during the day across all brokerages.

Thus it is better that you find out the emergency order placement phone number of your brokerage now and have that available all the time. Whenever your order placement software fails, this is your life line to take care of your open positions.

Internet Access Problem

If you have basic high speed internet through either cable company or phone company, you may experience interruptions during the day in the past 2 weeks due to your bandwidth usage. The real-time streaming data you get from your data vendor may exceed your bandwidth limit based on your subscription plan. The usual solution is to reset your IP address remotely by your ISP. That would simply stop your real-time data connection.

If you can upgrade your internet access with more bandwidth allowance, your real-time data delivery will get more stable.

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