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One cause of market turbulence: computer-driven index funds

ETFs, a preferred investment choice, have become a dominant force, adding momentum to the market's rise and fall.

The key question is how this transformed market holds up during a financial storm that lasts more than a few days.

A DECADE ago, the centre of gravity on Wall Street was raucous trading desks and stock exchange floors. These days, the locus has shifted to far quieter places, where computers are in charge.

The transition has been years in the making, but its effect has been on full display over the...

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