On June 22, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton and Brett Redfearn, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, spoke together on an SEC-sponsored virtual forum about modernizing the US Equity Market Structure. Chairman Clayton identified the market for thinly traded securities, retail fraud and National Market System (NMS) market data and access as three current targets for SEC initiatives.
Continue Reading SEC Chairman Speaks on Modernizing US Equity Market Structure

On May 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued an order directing the equity exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to submit a new National Market System plan (NMS plan) with a modernized governance structure for the production of public consolidated equity market data and the dissemination of trade and quote data from trading venues.
Continue Reading SEC Orders Submission of New NMS Plan

On February 14, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed to modernize the infrastructure for the collection, consolidation and dissemination of market data for exchange-listed national market system (NMS) securities, including by expanding the content of included NMS market data and introducing a decentralized consolidation model with competing data consolidators.
Continue Reading SEC Proposes to Modernize Infrastructure for NMS Securities Market Data

On January 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a proposed order to improve the governance of National Market System (NMS) data plans that produce consolidated equity market data and disseminate trade and quote data. Currently, the equities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (the Participants) together collect, consolidate and disseminate information regarding trades and quotes in NMS stocks pursuant to three separate national market system plans.
Continue Reading SEC Proposes Changes to Market Data Plans

On October 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed an amendment to Regulation NMS that would rescind a rule exception that allows a national market system plan (NMS Plan) amendment to be effective upon filing if it establishes or changes a fee or other charge (Proposal).
Continue Reading SEC Proposes to Require Proposed NMS Plan Fee Amendments to Follow Public Notice, Comment and Approval Procedure

On May 21, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 19-19 (Notice), which reminds applicable member firms that they must register with FINRA CAT, LLC (FINRA CAT) on or before June 27 for purposes of reporting to the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT). This reporting requirement relates to 1) member firms or national securities exchanges that handle orders or quotes in National Market System (NMS) stocks, over-the-counter equity securities or exchange listed options (each, an Industry Member); and 2) third-party CAT reporting agents that are or will be authorized to submit data to the CAT on behalf of an Industry Member. The CAT rules do not provide for any firms to be excluded or exempted from this reporting requirement.
Continue Reading FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice Reminding Member Firms about CAT Reporting Deadlines

The Securities and Exchange Commission has extended the compliance dates for amendments to Rule 606 of Regulation National Market System (NMS) that were adopted in November 2018.

The amendments to Rule 606 require specific additional disclosures for broker-dealers, including disclosure upon customer request of information relating to a customer’s NMS stock orders submitted on a not held basis. The amendments also include public quarterly disclosure of information relating to NMS stock orders submitted on a held basis.
Continue Reading SEC Extends Compliance Date for Regulation NMS Changes

On August 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets issued a public statement on the status of the consolidated audit trail (CAT) and the SROs’ (defined below) currently expected timetable for compliance with their obligations under the revised Plan (defined below).
Continue Reading Statement on Status of the Consolidated Audit Trail

On November 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the consolidated audit trail (CAT) plan proposed by the self-regulatory organizations (SROs).  As specified by the CAT plan, the CAT will be designed to create a central repository to track all trading activity in national market system (NMS) securities, including options and equity securities.
Continue Reading SEC Approves Plan To Create Consolidated Audit Trail

On October 3, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority began publishing monthly data on block-size trades occurring on alternative trading systems (ATSs). Statistics for ATS block-size trades are being aggregated across all National Market System (NMS) stocks for a one-month trading period and will be published no earlier than one month following the end of the month for which such trading was aggregated. The initial report covers August ATS trades.
Continue Reading FINRA To Publish Block-Size Trade Data for ATS Trades