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Wall Street up to Y2K task

Nearly all of the simulated trades entered during a six-week test period were processed free of Y2K bugs, the Securities Industry Association says.

Wall Street passed Year 2000 tests with flying colors, according to a spokeswoman for the Securities Industry Association.

Nearly all of the simulated trades entered during a six-week period were processed free of Y2K bugs, the SIA said in a statement.

The few Y2K-related Back to Year 2000 Index Page problems that did occur over the six weeks were identified immediately, fixed quickly, and did not interfere with the test, said Margaret Draper, a spokeswoman for the SIA.

Reports from approximately 400 securities firms, stock markets, and utilities, which participated in what the SIA calls its "largest technology project," entered trades from prepared "scripts." The "script" included simulations of trade cancellations, limit orders, and other types of transactions that occur on a normal trading day.

Basically, the test showed that there were actually fewer problems than what you would see on a normal trading day, Draper said.

With the results reported, the SIA said that Y2K-related problems affected only .02 percent of the 260,000 transactions. The result was "successful" if the participants reported that the transaction actually was simulated. Data entry errors and non-Y2K system problems accounted for much of the remainder of the "unsuccessful" results, which made up 2.5 percent of the total. The mock trading began for the period of December 29, 1999, to January 3, 2000.

"The test has served its purpose in that it helped us detect problems or areas that needed further work while we still have time to fix them," Donald Kittell, SIA executive vice president, said in a statement. "Our contingency plans will be much more thorough as a result of what we've learned."

Kittell added that this has moved the industry toward its goal of ensuring that the millennium transition is a "nonevent" for investors.

In addition, the SIA said firms will continue to test individually with the markets and utilities throughout the summer. The SIA said it is working with the securities markets and utilities to develop contingency plans that will address the "what if" situations that may occur.