Wall Street Journal Crashes at the Worst Possible Time

Seemingly Unrelated Tech Issues Halt NYSE Trading, Ground an Airline and Take WSJ.com Offline

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Soon after apparently unrelated tech problems temporarily grounded United Airlines' fleet and led the New York Stock Exchange to abruptly freeze trading on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal also found itself failing. The newspaper's website was down for about an hour, without explanation, starting around 12:15, just as readers were arriving to find out about the meltdowns in business and finance elsewhere.

Speculation on aspects of the downward spiral ranged from cyberattacks, naturally, to fallout from China's month-long stock market decline or even Greek's blossoming financial crisis.

None of the affected companies said any kind of hacking played a part. United Airlines said its U.S. departure flights had been grounded after a "network connectivity issue this morning." Inconvencienced fliers of course took flight on Twitter:

The New York Stock Exchange, where trading remained frozen as of 2:15 p.m., said cyberattacks had nothing to do with it.

The Journal, for its part, eventually managed to get a light version of its site back up, topped with the message "WSJ.com is having technical difficulties. The full site will return shortly."

Ashley Huston, a spokeswoman for News Corp.'s Dow Jones, publisher of the Journal, said she had no further updates.

An enterprising Bloomberg communications rep welcomed people to Bloomberg Business for financial updates.

The Journal later tweeted out word that its site was working again:

Yesterday, Twitter user Anonymous posted a cryptic Tweet that, in retrospect, seemed to predict the Wall Street tech malfunction, but any real connection was unclear.

Hackers conducted a spate of attacks against media outlets in 2013, taking over their social feeds, posting false stories and writing "Syrian Electronic Army Was Here" on NPR's home page. The New York Times website also went down that year, but blamed the outage on an internal technical problem.

Twitter users, as ever, were quick to dispense wisdom on Wednesday's situation.

~ With contributions from Bloomberg News ~

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