MSRB gains SEC approval of shortened settlement cycle for municipal securities.The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board announced that the SEC has approved its proposal to shorten the settlement cycle for municipal securities to two days. The compliance date for the amended rules will be announced in a notice published on the MSRB website and will correspond with the securities industry’s general transition to a T+2 regular-way settlement. (5/2/2016) MSRB press release.

First cross-market report cards on spoofing and layering is issued. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has made available to member firms its first monthly cross-market equities supervision report cards, which are meant to help firms identify and stop spoofing and layering activity. (4/28/2016) FINRA press release.

Effective date of exemption from trade reporting obligation for certain transactions on alternative trading systems is announced. FINRA has issued a regulatory notice announcing that new FINRA Rule 6732, Exemption from Trade Reporting Obligation for Certain Transactions on an Alternative Trading System, is to become effective on July 18, 2016. Rule 6732 gives FINRA staff the authority to grant a member alternative trading system (ATS) an exemption from the TRACE trade reporting obligations of Rule 6730 for transactions occurring on an ATS that meet certain conditions. (4/27/2016) FINRA Regulatory Notice 16-15.

MSRB to offer trading data to academics. The MSRB announced that it will make trading data on the US$3.7 trillion US municipal bond market available to academic institutions through research platform Wharton Research Data Services. This will allow researchers to easily access and evaluate the more than 40,000 trades that are executed daily in the municipal bond market. In addition, researchers will be able to study statistical trends and patterns in the data to inform public policy and municipal finance. (4/25/2016) MSRB press release.

FINRA announces enactment date for publication of ATS block-size trade data; FINRA also makes available new data on over-the-counter equity trading.FINRA has issued a regulatory notice announcing that, pursuant to new amendments to FINRA Rule 6110, starting on October 3, 2016, FINRA will expand its ATS transparency plan to publish monthly information on block-size trading statistics occurring on ATSs. (4/22/2016) FINRA also announced that expanded data on over-the-counter trading in equity securities is live. With this enhancement, which extends FINRA’s trading-volume transparency to the entire OTC market, FINRA has supplemented the data that it currently makes available on trading by ATSs, including dark pools, with new data on all other equities volume executed OTC by FINRA members. The additional data covers around 20 percent of all trading volume in National Market System equities. (4/25/2016) FINRA Regulatory Notice 16-14.

SEC revises NMS limit up-limit down plan and extends pilot period. The SEC issued an order approving the Tenth Amendment to the NMS Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility, which modifies the manner in which the plan establishes the reference price in cases where a security does not trade in the opening auction on the primary listing exchange to prevent trading pauses unrelated to extraordinary volatility and extends the pilot period until April 21, 2017. (4/21/2016) SEC press release.