NEW YORK (CNNfn) - About 400 brokerage firms, banks, exchanges and other institutions that rely heavily on computers pushed their clocks forward to December 29, 1999 in an industrywide Y2K test Saturday and officials said there were no major problems so far.
The test simulated a trading cycle, from order to settlement, and included nine product groups: equities, options, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, unit investment trusts, mutual funds, money markets, government securities, and mortgage-backed securities.
No major problems so far
Individual firms worked from "scripts" that detailed the mock trades executed. While the complete test results won't be in until Tuesday, officials said there were no major problems reported so far.
"I think as far as Y2K is concerned, by the time we get to the actual weekend, we're going to be business as usual. We're going to be very confident," said Don Kittell, Executive Vice President of the Securities Industry Association.
Y2K compliance will cost the securities industry an estimated five billion dollars, according to the association.
Saturday's exercise was part of series of tests aimed at determining the susceptibility of each firm's computer systems to the so-called "Y2K Bug," a theoretically crippling computer problem that could occur when computer clocks move to "00" on Jan. 1, 2000.
Over the next six weekends, SIA will coordinate tests of simulated trading conditions among more than 400 member firms, ranging from broker-dealers to large stock exchanges.
Each Saturday "trading session" will represent one day during the simulated 2000 New Year week. The tests will end April 24 with the simulated Jan. 3 session.
The testing will expand upon the mock trading organized by the SIA in mid-July of last year, which saw 29 securities firms and 12 trading markets succeed in about 90 percent of their simulated transactions. Major securities of various types will be traded, including stocks, stock options, mutual funds, money market funds and the full range of major bonds.
Mountains of code
Programmers at hundreds of Wall Street firms have worked nonstop in recent years to ensure that trading systems can survive not only the Year 2000 computer problem but also the debut of the new euro currency last January.
One programmer told CNNfn that vacation time in his department was scarce during 1998 as coders toiled away at the millions of lines of software required to fix both problems. However, after the successful euro launch, combined with the successful July Y2K dry run, he said he was optimistic about Wall Street's millennial chances.
More than 5,000 Wall Street employees will work during the simulated sessions, the SIA said. The agency will release the test results April 29.