CBOE issued a statement explaining the outage that said: "The malfunction that impacted CBOE was an internal systems issue and not the result of any outside influence."
"Not being able to hedge a portfolio for a regular trader, for a big firm that is looking to use these options as a hedge is difficult," said Todd Horwitz of AverageJoeOptions.com. "They are going to have to figure out another way, maybe use futures at the mercantile or another way to hedge their overall position."
The CBOE has the exclusive right to sell options -- or the right to buy shares at specific prices in the future -- for two indices important to professional traders. These indices are the volatility or VIX index, and the S&P 500 basket of top shares.
Traders were left surfing the internet while the exchange tried to fix its computers. Twice, just after 10 a.m., the exchange said everything was working but traders walking out confirmed business had not resumed - and opportunities were being lost.
"Based on market movement, it could be in the billions of dollars potentially," said Horwitz.