Wall Street's First Batch Run of 2000 Goes Well

Wall Street breathed another sigh of relief today when brokerages, stock exchanges, clearing houses and other entities discovered that their first batch processing runs in the new year were free of any Y2K-related glitches.

Merrill Lynch & Co. was able to process all trades it made from Hong Kong to Helsinki "very smoothly," said a spokeswoman for the New York-based investment bank.

The Securities Industry Association announced that the first full day of trading in the U.S. was smooth as silk. The only problem reported to the group's Y2K command center was a snag with a market quotation system that was quickly corrected, according to a press release.

Even though it currently takes three days for transactions on Wall Street to be cleared and settled, any Y2K-related problems would have emerged by now, experts said. "If something would have blown up, it would have blown up by now," said Larry Tabb, an analyst at Tower Group, a Needham, Mass.-based financial services consultant.

Tabb said there's still a remote -- but unlikely -- chance that the financial sector could encounter some year 2000-related problems with weekly or monthly batch processing runs that brokerages and exchanges will be making.

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