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Oct 30, 2014

U.S. options exchanges say new rule threatens to hurt investors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. equity options exchange operators warned on Thursday that a new rule to be implemented on Jan. 1 aimed at making sure banks have adequate capital levels could significantly raise costs for many investors that trade options.

The rule, known as the Collins Amendment, is part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. While aimed at making sure banks keep capital and credit risks in line, the rule would also apply to the options market-making arms of the banks, which would be required to measure credit risks more strictly than many do now. Market makers post buy and sell orders on exchanges so that securities are easier to trade, profiting from the spread between the bid and the offer.

Oct 30, 2014

KCG reports loss, says could sell Hotspot FX trading venue

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Trading firm KCG Holdings Inc
, which reported a third quarter loss on Thursday, said
it may sell its electronic foreign exchange trading venue,
Hotspot, as regulatory pressures in the FX market may make the
unit more attractive to potential buyers.

KCG reported a net loss of $9.6 million, or 9 cents per
share in the period, compared with a profit of $227.8 million,
or $1.99 a share, a year earlier. The company said that several
factors pressured revenues during the quarter, including a
seasonally slow July and August in U.S. equities, along with
heightened competitive pressures in the market making business.

Oct 23, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. stock options markets agree to need for trading halts on big moves

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. options market operators have agreed in recent months on the need for new automatic trading halts when stock options prices suddenly surge or plunge, in a bid to reduce excess volatility and blunt the impact of erroneous trades, according to five sources with knowledge of their discussions.

The plan, which takes its cue from a rule known as “Limit Up/Limit Down” that U.S. stock markets put in place in response to the May 6, 2010 “Flash Crash,” is still in the early stages, with market operators trying to figure out how a similar rule could be applied to options trading, the sources said. 

Oct 23, 2014

US stock options markets agree to need for trading halts on big moves

NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) – U.S. options market operators
have agreed in recent months on the need for new automatic
trading halts when stock options prices suddenly surge or
plunge, in a bid to reduce excess volatility and blunt the
impact of erroneous trades, according to five sources with
knowledge of their discussions.

The plan, which takes its cue from a rule known as “Limit
Up/Limit Down” that U.S. stock markets put in place in response
to the May 6, 2010 “Flash Crash,” is still in the early stages,
with market operators trying to figure out how a similar rule
could be applied to options trading, the sources said.

Oct 16, 2014

Exclusive: Wells Fargo to shut its ‘dark pool’ as demand falls

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wells Fargo (WFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is closing down its alternative trading system, or “dark pool,” due to decreased customer demand, the company said on Thursday.

The San Francisco-based bank will still offer its clients a full suite of electronic trading tools to help them execute orders, but will stop offering access to the company’s dark pool on Friday, a spokeswoman from the bank told Reuters.

Oct 16, 2014

Wells Fargo to shut its ‘dark pool’ as demand falls

NEW YORK, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Wells Fargo is closing
down its alternative trading system, or “dark pool,” due to
decreased customer demand, the company said on Thursday.

The San Francisco-based bank will still offer its clients a
full suite of electronic trading tools to help them execute
orders, but will stop offering access to the company’s dark pool
on Friday, a spokeswoman from the bank told Reuters.

Oct 13, 2014

Nasdaq’s Friedman sharpens focus on listings, Silicon Valley

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday it promoted several managers to executive vice president positions, sharpening the exchange operator’s focus on listings, Silicon Valley, and market technology, under new co-President Adena Friedman.

Friedman runs Nasdaq’s non-transactions based businesses, which now make up around three quarters of the exchange operator’s revenues. Sources told Reuters in June that Friedman is the clear successor to Chief Executive Robert Greifeld, who has led Nasdaq for more than 10 years.

Oct 12, 2014

U.S. gasoline prices lowest in nearly a year -Lundberg survey

NEW YORK, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The average price of a gallon
of gasoline in the United States dropped 12 cents in the past
three weeks to its lowest point in nearly a year, driven by the
latest round of falling oil prices, according to the Lundberg
survey released on Sunday.

Prices fell to an average of $3.26 per gallon for regular
grade gasoline, according to the survey conducted on Oct. 10.
Prices have fallen for the past 16 weeks, survey publisher
Trilby Lundberg said.

Oct 10, 2014

ConvergEx CEO says firm’s “dark pools” being remodeled

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) – ConvergEx Group LLC
is revamping its two alternative trading systems, or “dark
pools,” due in part to expectations of tighter industry
regulations, Eric Noll, chief executive of the brokerage and
trading services provider, said on Friday.

Dark pools – private, broker-run venues where trading
information is kept secret until after trades are completed -
have faced intense scrutiny in recent months. Several regulators
are probing how the venues operate, and New York’s attorney
general has filed a lawsuit against Barclays accusing
the bank of misleading investors about its dark pool. Barclays
is fighting the lawsuit.

Oct 8, 2014

Wall St watchdog to shut penny-stock market, boost OTC oversight

NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s industry-funded
watchdog plans to shutter its antiquated, quarter-century old
trading system for penny stocks, while increasing its oversight
of over-the-counter (OTC) securities traded elsewhere, according
to a regulatory filing.

In the early 1990s, if retail investors or other market
participants wanted to see a price quote for an unlisted stock,
the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s OTC Bulletin Board
(OTCBB) system, which was started for just that purpose, was the
place to look. But over the years private firms have enabled
electronic trading in OTC stocks, and the OTCBB, which brokers
still have to pick up a phone to trade through, has seen its
market share slide to well under 1 percent.