The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule on Wednesday to require American stock exchanges and other markets to establish a uniform system for tracking all orders and trades.
It said the requirement was aimed at making it easier for the government to investigate market disruptions, like the “flash crash” two years ago that sent the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting nearly 600 points in five minutes.
The commission voted 3 to 2 to require all exchanges and electronic trading platforms to keep the same form of audit trails covering orders from start to routing to execution. Currently, audit trails vary among exchanges. Regulators say that has made it more difficult to get their hands on current order data.
Regulators say the change will make it easier to pinpoint the causes of disruptions.