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Trading Newsflashes: NYSE to Launch Real-Time Open Book in May

NYSE to Launch Real-Time Open Book in May, Merrill Lynch and ITG Form Joint Venture to Create Global Block Crossing Service, EdgeTrade Signs Up Bley Investment Group for Quantitative Service Bureau, CBOT and eSpeed Unveil New Wireless Services

NYSE Approved to Launch Real-Time Open Book in May

The New York Stock Exchange obtained approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide a real-time version of NYSE OpenBook. The new version, NYSE OpenBook Real-Time, is being launched on May 1 to offer customers immediate access to market information and increase the transparency of the NYSE market. A real-time OpenBook will also support the implementation of the recently SEC-approved NYSE Hybrid Market.

Previously, there was a 10-second delay on updating the NYSE's limit order book, which was subsequently shorted to updates every five seconds. Now, OpenBook Real-Time will provide a real-time view of the NYSE's limit order book for all NYSE-traded issues—aggregated and refreshed every second, according to the release.

"In response to customer demand for depth-of-market data, we've created NYSE OpenBook Real-Time, a new standard in real-time market information with transparency for stocks trading on the NYSE market," states Ron Jordan, SVP, Market Data. "Innovative products like OpenBook Real-Time are what investors want and need in today's marketplace," stated Jordan in the release.

NYSE says the real-time order-book complements the speed and flexibility of the Hybrid Market Platform by providing faster, more readily applicable data to support human and algorithmic trading.

Merrill Lynch and ITG Form Joint Venture to Create Global Block Crossing Service

Merrill Lynch and Investment Technology Group (ITG) plan to form a joint venture, called Block Alert, which will create a global block order crossing service. The service will be independent, anonymous and be driven by ITG's POSIT crossing network.

Block Alert will pair Merrill Lynch's global distribution with ITG's leading technology-enabled trading to provide an expanded liquidity pool for block orders utilizing ITG's existing POSIT crossing network.

"With this new joint venture, ITG's clients will have access to a greater global pool of liquidity made available by Merrill Lynch's distribution network. This will be a major infusion to our already robust liquidity pool, increasing matching opportunities while maintaining the confidentiality and anonymity to which our clients are accustomed," stated Ray Killian, chairman, president and CEO of ITG in the release.

According to Rohit D'Souza, global head of equities at Merrill Lynch, who is quoted in the release, the joint venture will give market participants in the U.S., Europe and Asia access to the independent block crossing services.

The U.S. roll out is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2006.

EdgeTrade Signs Up Bley Investment Group for Quantitative Service Bureau

Bley Investment Group, a broker-dealer in Fort Worth Texas, has signed up to use EdgeTrade's Quantitative Service Bureau (QSB), the firm announced on Monday. Launched last fall, QSB allows institutional broker-dealers-- in particular, minority owned and research driven firms—to compete in the algorithmic and electronic trading business by providing innovative technology, integration tools and services developed by EdgeTrade.

As an independent, agency-only broker, Edge Trade develops algorithmic strategies and direct-market access (DMA) software. "Our firm prides itself on maintaining a culture of best execution, anonymity and compliance," stated Bley Investment Group Founder and President Laura Haley Bley. In the release, Bley said that QSB is an important addition to the firm's existing FIX-based trading platform because it allows it to create its own customized and private-labeled agency algorithmic offering. Bley has integrated its order management system, Arrowhead Pipes, with EdgeTrade and is executing its own trades.

EdgeTrade's CEO Joseph Wald said that Reg NMS is a key impetus for brokers to utilize the service bureau. "In a post-Reg NMS world, brokers of all sizes will need to adhere to best execution and related compliance requirements that QSB can facilitate," stated Wald in the release. "Some broker-dealers are ceding too much ground to bulge-bracket firms because they lack the resources to develop sophisticated trading and execution tools," he further stated, adding, "QSB can help them stave off the competition and most importantly, deliver greater trade execution value to their buy-side clients."

CBOT and eSpeed Unveil New Wireless Services

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) together with eSignal launched a wireless quote service this week, while in separate news, eSpeed introduced a wireless market data and trading solution for institutions executing in benchmark U.S. Treasury bond issues and foreign exchange.

CBOT teamed up with eSignal, a division of Interactive Data Corporation to offer CBOT Advantage Wireless—real-time delivery of streaming quotes, charts and market news to mobile devices. The futures exchange joined forces with eSignal previously to launch CBOT Advantage in 2003.

CBOT is offering the wireless data solution to new subscribers for free over a 30-day trial period. The service is compatible with many mobile devices including Palm-based Treo products, Blackberry devices and HP's iPAQ product line. CBOT Advantage Wireless is available as a stand-alone solution for $99.95 per month, or as a companion to the existing browser-based CBOT Advantage product for $24.95.

Meanwhile, eSpeed's wireless trading and market data solution, which was first launched in June of 2005, is now available to market professionals via the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 platform on devices such as the Motorola Q and the Palm Treo 700w.

The wireless solution offers trading access to eSpeed's clients and real-time market data to Cantor Market Data's clients. In conjunction with BGC, an inter-dealer brokerage firm that is a spinoff of Cantor Fitzgerald, eSpeed plans on broadening the pipeline of tradeable instruments and market data available on a wireless basis. These will include futures, European government bonds, and other securities and derivative products throughout the credit markets.

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