Stocks closed higher on Thursday (August 22) in a trading session marred by a historic trading halt of roughly three hours on the Nasdaq stock exchange as a result of technical problems.

All traffic through, the second-largest U.S. stock exchange stopped at 12:14 p.m. (1614GMT), the exchange said on its website. Shares in Nasdaq closed down 3.4 percent to $30.46.

The exchange resumed trading with a single stock, Atlantic American (AAME.O), at 3:00 p.m. (1900GMT) before trading resumed in all of its listed securities at 3:25 p.m.

Thursday's failure at Nasdaq is the latest of a flurry of high-profile glitches to hit U.S. stock market trading. The incidents, included the 'flash crash' in 2010, errors related to the Facebook IPO and Knight Capital's disastrous trading blow-up last year.

James Angel, Associate Professor of Finance at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, said Nasdaq responded appropriately to the glitch.

"We live in a technologically very complex world and sometimes technology fails. The question is have we built a market structure that is fail-safe? And in this case it looks like we have. The market was shut down and Nasdaq took their time to get the reopen right. They started with some test symbols. They phased it in. Rather than with Facebook where they rushed and messed up and generated losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Here they took their time and at first glance, it looks like they had a fair and orderly reopen of the market," he said.

The outage led to what was easily the lowest full-session volume of the year, with about 4.23 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE MKT and Nasdaq, well below the daily average of 6.3 billion.

Presented by Adam Justice

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