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Instinet and Island ECN plan to display orders on Nasdaq SuperMontage; Sanford C. Bernstein launches program trading business with FlexTrader; UNX unveils protocol translation interface for buy-side traders.

Yesterday, the Nasdaq Stock Market reported a net loss of $38 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. This follows Nasdaq's announcement on Monday that Instinet Corp. has decided to participate in SuperMontage. Instinet ECN and Island ECN - soon to combine into one electronic marketplace branded INET - plan to participate in Nasdaq's SuperMontage. INET will begin displaying orders on SuperMontage in January following the consolidation of the Island ECN and Instinet ECN, according to Nasdaq. "With Instinet's participation, SuperMontage offers a deeper pool of liquidity for Nasdaq market participants and ultimately, enhanced opportunity for best execution," states Chris Concannon, executive vice president of The Nasdaq Stock Market, who recently replaced Glen Wolyner as head of Nasdaq Transaction Services. Wolyner is leaving the firm to pursue other business opportunities. Separately, Nasdaq intends to use Instinet SmartRouter technology to provide its members with access to enhanced routing services. Instinet SmartRouter integrates liquidity pools including all major ECNs through its order-routing algorithm.

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC went live with FlexTrader as the firm's program trading desk. "FlexTrader has given us a six-to-12 month jump on the program-trading business, and provided a stable platform jump on which complex strategies can be built," states David Liles, head of portfolio trading at the brokerage firm. Bernstein went live on FlexTrader in August. FlexTrader, an equity-trading and order-management system offers extensive program-trading functionality and quantitative analytics. States Vijay Kedia, FlexTrade Systems' president, "FlexTrader has a strong presence within many global program-trading desks, and we are pleased Sanford. C. Bernstein recognizes the value our system can bring in supporting their entry into this business."

UNX, an institutional agency brokerage firm, is introducing UNX Order Gateway, a universal trade-language and communications-processing interface providing access to UNX electronic-trading services for U.S. equities. The Order Gateway translates all incoming trade and outgoing post-trade reporting messages into protocols selected by UNX clients. Protocols include FIX, CTCI, OUCH, MCS, among other standards and proprietary formats.

The gateway is aimed at institutional buy-side traders that want to trade efficiently across different protocols while utilizing UNX's advanced market-structure trading features including MetaBook and MetaECN. Combined with UNX's application programming interface (API), the Order Gateway supports integration of multiple order management systems.

The Clearing Corporation (CCorp) has entered into an agreement in principle with the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) to provide futures post-trade execution-services for OCC. The agreement supports futures trading on futures markets that are affiliated with options exchanges for which OCC provides clearing services (covered markets).

Under the three-year agreement, any of the covered markets can choose to use CCorp's trade-management services for futures contracts covered by the deal, as well as CCorp's services for processing "give-up" transactions and billing services for give-up futures. A "give-up" occurs when a member firm (the carrying member) contracts with another firm (the executing member) to execute a trade. The executing member then gives up or transfers the resulting position to the carrying member.

The first draft of the FIXML Schema for version 4.4 of the FIX Protocol is available for public review and comment. It can be accessed from the Specification section on the FIX Web site (https://www.fixprotocol.org). This is not a new version of the FIX Protocol; rather it is an XML representation, defined using XML Schema, of version 4.4 of the FIX Protocol specification.

The FIXML 4.4 Schema was developed by the FIXML Working Group of the FIX Protocol Limited (FPL) Global Technical Committee, which was led by Jim Northey and Kevin Houstoun. Comments will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 14. A second draft will be released on Nov. 20; following a comment period ending Nov. 28, a final release is slated for Dec. 1, 2003.

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