Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Equity Trader Alert #2010 - 1
NASDAQ OMX Notifies Market Participants of Required Changes to Specifications Regarding Equity Symbology

Markets Impacted:

  • The NASDAQ Stock Market
  • NASDAQ OMX BX

Contact Information:

What you need to know:

  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) recently indicated its intention to begin listing and trading companies using 5-character root symbols.
  • No cash equities exchange currently lists root ticker symbols of more than 4 characters, and there is no uniform symbol suffix plan among markets.
  • NASDAQ OMX has identified numerous technology specifications and other protocols that will require modifications in response to this NYSE initiative.
  • Market participants are urged to immediately evaluate and prepare their own internal and vendor systems for changes made necessary by this NYSE initiative.

What is changing?

As announced, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) intends to commence listing and trading companies using 5-character root symbols exclusive of any symbol suffix. NASDAQ OMX® has identified numerous technology specifications and other protocols that will need to be modified in response to this NYSE initiative.

For both The NASDAQ Stock Market® and NASDAQ OMX BXSM (BXSM), the following order entry, market data and clearing specifications will be affected:

Protocol Type: Protocols Impacted:
Order Entry
  • OUCH
  • RASHport
  • Clearing
  • DROP
  • Market Data
  • NASDAQ TotalView-ITCH
  • BX TotalView-ITCH
  • NASDAQ GLIMPSE
  • BX GLIMPSE
  • NASDAQ TotalView-Aggregated
  • NASDAQ Level 2
  • NASDAQ Best Bid and Offer (QBBO/NASDAQ Basic)
  • BX Best Bid and Offer (BX Basic)
  • NASDAQ Last Sale (NLS)
  • BX Last Sale (BLS)
  • NASDAQ OUCH Pricing Feed
  • BX OUCH Pricing Feed
  • NASDAQ Market Pathfinders
  • NASDAQ Market Velocity and Forces
  • NOIView
  • Both NASDAQ® and BX currently have fixed-length specifications, which limit the length of the total ticker symbol (root plus suffix) to 6 characters. Current 4-character root symbol protocols provide for a universe of more than 450,000 unique ticker combinations, of which only approximately 8,000 are in use today. NASDAQ OMX has worked with BATS and Direct Edge to create a similar approach to accommodate longer tickers.

    Will this affect NASDAQ OMX symbology conventions?

    To avoid confusion with 5-character root symbols, NASDAQ OMX’s existing suffix plan will need to change in response to the listing of 5-character root symbols.

    How will I know when the specifications are updated?

    Detailed changes to all specifications as well as rollout dates will be provided in a subsequent communication.

    Will this affect my bandwidth?

    There is potential for increased bandwidth requirements. When NASDAQ OMX communicates changes to the specifications, any impact to bandwidth will also be addressed.

    What do I need to do to prepare for these changes?

    Market participants are urged to immediately evaluate and prepare their own internal and vendor systems for changes made necessary by this NYSE initiative.

    Where can I find additional information?



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