Thursday, August 27, 2009

High-speed trading goes off the Street - location, location, co-location

Marketplace talks about high speed trading, and explains it's all about location - location, location, co-location:

>>The high-frequency trader's building blocks are a lightning-fast computer and software that can buy shares by the bushel in the blink of an eye. There's one more key component: location.

If you're in Greenwich, Conn., and you place an order to buy a stock, it could take a half-a-thousandth of a second for the order to reach an exchange. But if your computer is sitting in the same building with the exchanges' matching engines, the computers that put buyers and sellers together, your order gets to the exchange 50 times faster.

Today Vasant Dhar teaches trading strategies at New York University's Stern School of Business. But back when he was a high-frequency trader, he placed his computer at a co-location facility.

This is the Equinix's co-location facility. It's a squat cement warehouse the size of five football fields. And it's not on Wall Street. It's four miles west of Manhattan in Secaucus, N.J.

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