About one third of handheld devices used by stock brokers to get information on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange failed, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that about 30 per cent of 275 brokers on that floor reported their devices went down. The devices were still out of order at the time of this posting.

The brokers said the devices could not show reports indicating that trades had been confirmed, NYSE Euronext spokesman Ray Pellecchia told the Journal. NYSE Euronext provides buyers and sellers with the liquidity, or availability, of stocks for sale.

The cause of the failures remains unknown and an investigation is underway. The newspaper reported that early on, the problem didn't appear to be hardware-related.

Brokers use handheld devices to execute stock trades, or buy and sell orders. Pellecchia said that the outages are not confined to one brokerage in the Exchange, but appear to be random and have occurred since the opening bell.