Several factors help to explain the explosion in program trading. Technological advances spawned the growth of electronic communication networks. These electronic exchanges, like Instinet and Archipelago Exchange, allow thousands of buy and sell orders to be matched very rapidly, without human intervention.
In addition, the proliferation of hedge funds with all their sophisticated trading strategies have helped drive program-trading volume.
As technology advanced and access to electronic exchanges became easier and faster, program trading developed into the much broader algorithmic trading and high-frequency trading strategies employed by the investment banks and hedge funds.
Read more about this topic: Program Trading
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