Market Data

Market data is information about current stock prices, recent trades, and supply-and-demand levels sold by national securities exchanges. Access to this information is essential to America’s world-leading capital markets because all participants need timely and complete data to make informed trading decisions.

This data is distributed exclusively by exchanges in a two-tier system comprised of a public feed—the Securities Information Processor (SIP)—that distributes “best-priced” quotation and “last-sale” data for securities, and faster proprietary data products that include “depth-of-book” information that shows all other bid offers.

Because exchanges control both tiers of information, they have enormous pricing power over the cost to access the data. As a result, there have been massive increases in fees for market data in recent years. In October 2018, the SEC blocked an attempt by the exchanges to further increase fees, but a long-term fix is needed. At SIFMA, we believe market data reform should focus on promoting competition, supporting efficient markets, and providing a transparent and fair system for all investors.

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