Nasdaq nearer to night trading

NASD tells staff to start preparations for evening sessions

May 28, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Securities Dealers moved yesterday toward extending Nasdaq stock market trading into the night, to meet competition from electronic networks and enable individual investors to trade securities after work.

The NASD board approved a proposal calling on its staff to proceed with preparations to open trading from 5: 30 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. New York time for stocks in the Nasdaq 100 index -- which includes the biggest Nasdaq stocks. The Nasdaq market now is open for regular trading from 9: 30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The NASD didn't set a timetable for when it would move to extend trading hours, saying "a full, responsible and coordinated effort will take some time." If rival private electronic trading networks start providing late trading, however, Nasdaq "will expedite its implementation plans," the NASD said.

The NASD and New York Stock Exchange have been exploring the prospects of evening trading as electronic networks such as Eclipse Trading Inc. and Wit Capital Corp. have said they plan to start offering late stock trading to individual investors in a few months. Nasdaq, the second-largest U.S. stock market, has been losing business to fast-growing private systems.

NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso said he is concerned that evening trading volumes may be light, and may not provide fair prices for investors.

The NASD board's proposal calls on the group's staff to talk further with brokerages and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ultimately has to approve any proposal, "to achieve an orderly transition."

Pub Date: 5/28/99

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