Nasdaq, Direct Edge Move to Tame Quote Traffic

Reuters/Brendan McDermid

By Matt Jarzemsky

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and Direct Edge Holdings LLC will introduce financial penalties in coming weeks on traders who send to the exchanges heavy loads of quotes that don’t lead to trades.

The number of so-called trade messages, which are “bid” or “sell” offers sent to the exchange, has surged in recent years even as the volume of stock trading has fallen. This is in part because some traders—many using rapid-fire computer technology—use them not to initiate trades but to gauge buying or selling interest.

The quote traffic burdens exchanges’ technology infrastructures and adds to clutter in stock-price data, exchange …

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