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On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 998.50 points between 2:40 p.m. and 2:47 p.m. and almost immediately recovered 543 points by 3 p.m. Based on my review of many newspaper articles, my experience in the field of securities regulation, the SEC-CFTC preliminary report and congressional testimony,1 a study by Professors James J. Angel, Lawrence E. Harris and Chester S. Spatt,2 as well as conversations with traders and brokers, I have drawn a tentative conclusion on what happened. The confluence of several factors resulted in the May 6 flash crash: changes in the market; development of institutional traders who seek profits from changes in prices regardless of the underlying value of the securities being traded; and market events of May 6.

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