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. We continue to advocate for improvements to the SIP content, consistent with the recommendations the SEC is developing for proposals to changes to the SIP, and for the addition of competing SIPs to replace single-consolidator model.

SIFMA also advocates for the review and reform of the Regulation National Market System (Reg. NMS) and competitive fees for exchange of “depth-of-book” market data products.

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