On September 17, 2009, the SEC proposed amendments to Regulation NMS that would eliminate the exception for use of flash orders by market participants. Flash orders, which are orders for immediate execution or withdrawal, are currently excepted from the requirement under Regulation NMS that exchanges publicly disseminate their best bids and offers in U.S.-listed equities. If adopted, the elimination of the exception for flash orders would require flash orders with non-marketable prices to be included in the publicly disseminated consolidated quotation data and would prohibit flashing orders with marketable prices only to certain market participants. The SEC’s proposing release states that the benefits of flash orders for some market participants do not justify their costs to other market participants, the national market system and the public interest.
Comments on the proposals are due by November 23, 2009.