March Trading Halts and Other Trading Restrictions May Complicate Securities Class Actions

The authors document a high number of automatic trading halts and other trading restrictions triggered in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss the potential implications for analyzing market efficiency in securities litigation in this Law360 article.

A number of securities class actions have been filed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more are expected. These class actions will include as a part of the class period the current COVID-19 crisis, which has seen some of the most extreme swings in U.S. stock market prices in the past twenty years. Thus far, most of these swings have been concentrated in March 2020.

Automatic trading halts and other trading restrictions are implemented by regulators in an attempt to mitigate excessive market volatility and to prevent potentially destabilizing trading or short-selling activity. These automatic trading halts and trading restrictions have become much more prevalent since the COVID-19 crisis began.

In this article, authors Yan Cao, Allie Schwartz, and Janko Cizel explain how trading restrictions work, document their prevalence during the extreme market volatility in March 2020, and discuss the potential implications of these restrictions for analyzing market efficiency in securities class actions.

This article was originally published by Law360 in June 2020.


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