High-frequency trading strategies that exploit today’s fragmented equity markets reduce investor profits overall, according to new findings by University of Michigan engineering researchers. The study is believed to be the first to examine how a common and lucrative trading practice known as latency arbitrage can exploit both market rules and the recent growth in the number of venues where stocks can change hands. The researchers will present the findings June 20 at the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce in Philadelphia.
High-frequency trading firms use sophisticated algorithms and direct data lines to either predict market fluctuations or obtain early information about price changes. They’re responsible for more than half of all shares traded in U.S. stocks.