Thursday, April 14, 2005

Data News #2005 - 21
Financial Status Indicator display requirement information

NASDAQ® recently announced that it would soon require external market data distributors to display a new Financial Status Indicator. Since the announcement was made, NASDAQ has received a number of inquiries about the new display policy. Below is the list of the frequently asked questions on the Financial Status Indicator.

Background on the Financial Status Indicator

What is the Financial Status Indicator?
The Financial Status Indicator is a new data element that denotes if an NASDAQ-listed issuer has failed to submit its regulatory filings on a timely basis, has failed to meet NASDAQ's continuing listing standards, and/or has filed for bankruptcy. NASDAQ is adding the Financial Status Indicator to its data products at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Both NASDAQ and the SEC feel that it is important that investors and traders have access to this financial status information when making a buying or selling decision. NASDAQ will, therefore, require that external data distributors provide this indicator to downstream customers.

Where can I access the Financial Status Indicator on NASDAQ products?
Over the next several months, NASDAQ will be adding the Financial Status Indicator field to the Issue Symbol Directory message on the following data feeds:

Data Feed Implementation Date
NASDAQ TotalViewSM May 16, 2005
NASDAQ Quotation Dissemination ServiceSM (NQDSSM) May 16, 2005
UTP Quotation Data FeedSM (UQDFSM) July 25, 2005
UTP Trade Data FeedSM (UTDFSM) July 25, 2005
OTC Montage Data FeedSM (OMDFSM) July 25, 2005

The Issue Symbol Directory format will be identified as Message Category A, Message Type B within the data feed header. NASDAQ disseminates Issue Symbol Directory messages as part of its pre-opening process.

In addition, NASDAQ will also provide the Financial Status Indicator field to the following web-based products available via the NASDAQ Trader website:

Web-Based Product Implementation Date
NASDAQ Issue Symbol Directory May 13, 2005
NASDAQ Fundamental Data May 13, 2005
NASDAQ Daily List August 1, 2005 (Revised)

What are the allowable values for the Financial Status Indicator?
The Financial Status Indicator will be a one byte, alphanumeric field. The allowable values will be as follows:

Code Description
D Deficient: Issuer Failed to Meet NASDAQ Continued Listing Requirements
E Delinquent: Issuer Missed Regulatory Filing Deadline
Q Bankrupt: Issuer Has Filed for Bankruptcy
N Normal (Default): Issue is not currently deficient, delinquent, or bankrupt.
G Deficient and Bankrupt
H Deficient and Delinquent
J Delinquent and Bankrupt
K Deficient, Delinquent, and Bankrupt

For more information on NASDAQ listing requirements, please refer to

What are NASDAQ’s plans for fifth character symbol suffixes?
Today, NASDAQ denotes filing delinquency and bankruptcy situations by adding a temporary fifth character suffix to the issue symbol. NASDAQ uses the suffix of “E” for filing delinquencies and the suffix “Q” for bankruptcy situations. Although NASDAQ does not uniformly communicate when an NASDAQ issuer is below continuing listing standards on its data feeds, a temporary suffix of “C” is added to the symbol of NASDAQ SmallCap MarketSM issues listed pursuant to an exception to those standards granted by a hearings panel.

NASDAQ considered expanding this temporary suffix for all listing deficiencies, but decided against this option. Over the years, NASDAQ has received a number of complaints from the market data and trading community about the use of the temporary symbol suffixes. Firms have told us that the issue symbol changes make it difficult for investors to track the trading history for a given security. To ensure that investors and traders have access to both financial status information and trading history for a given security, NASDAQ decided to modify its messaging.

Beginning this summer, NASDAQ will provide the Financial Status Indicator as a separate field on the market data products. NASDAQ will support both the new Financial Status Indicator and the existing symbol suffixes during a transition period.  As of February 1, 2006, NASDAQ will cease the use of the “C”, “E”, and “Q” fifth character modifiers for NASDAQ National Market® and SmallCap securities.

NASDAQ/UTP Display Requirements

What firms are impacted by the display requirement?
Nasdaq expects firms that are subject to the SEC Vendor Display Rule to provide the Financial Status Indicator. Data feed distributors should also include the field on data feed products containing NASDAQ quotation or last sale information.

When does the display requirement go into effect?
By August 1, 2005, the Financial Status Indicator will be available on the NASDAQ/UTP data feeds and NASDAQ web-based products. NASDAQ recognizes that firms may need to modify multiple systems and products to meet this display requirement. NASDAQ will, therefore, offer a six month transition period for firms to integrate the Financial Status Indicator into their displays. NASDAQ will begin to enforce its new display policy beginning February 1, 2006.

How should the Financial Status Indicator be shown?
NASDAQ strongly recommends that market data distributors add a field to their single security quotation displays for the Financial Status Indicator. The field should be shown with the issue symbol and company name near the top of the quotation display.

NASDAQ understands that customer preferences and technical restrictions may vary from firm to firm. NASDAQ will allow some latitude on display of the Financial Status Indicator, provided that the data element is easily accessible by end users during the trading day.


Who should I contact for additional information on the Financial Status Indicator?
Questions about the Financial Status Indicator should be directed to NASDAQ Market Data Distribution at 301.978.5307 or