Just in Case You Were Wondering
By then, the documents show, the firm had sent 4,612 "buy limit" orders into the market. It quickly offset the position, mostly with large "block" trades in the next few minutes, leaving it with a $1.03-million loss.
The algorithm was turned on at 2:26:28 p.m. (Eastern) on February 3, less than four minutes before NYMEX closed floor trading and settled oil prices. It immediately started uncontrollably buying oil futures, according to the documents, which include letters from Infinium's lawyer to the regulation unit of CME Group, and cite notes from a company developer.
The documents did not suggest that Infinium was suspected of what is known as "banging the close" -- an illegal practice in which traders try to move the futures market by flooding it with orders just before it closes.