Nasdaq PAC trade volume tops 500 million

New York: The Nasdaq Stock Market (www.nasdaq.com) has announced that the total share volume on the Primex Auction System (PAS), the world's first totally electronic auction for securities, topped 500 million.

On 30 April 2002, Primex set a record for daily share volume, with more than 10 million shares being traded. The total shares executed represent approximately 1.7 million transactions that have received the benefit of the Primex Auction, which combines an automated auction process with the speed and liquidity of the Nasdaq multi-dealer marketplace.

“The system has been operational for less than 100 trading days, so these milestones are impressive,“ says Nasdaq Transaction Services executive vice-president Dean Furbush. “As technology vendors develop more ways to access PAC automatically, we expect trading volumes will continue to increase.“

PAS conducts trading in both Nasdaq and exchange-listed securities. Currently, participants can use the system to trade the largest 1,000 Nasdaq stocks, the Nasdaq-100 Tracking Stock (QQQ) and exchange-listed securities included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

PAS conducts auctions in its eligible securities continuously during normal market hours (9:30 am-4 pm Eastern Time). Execution prices are guaranteed to be equal to or better than the best quotes in the National Market System at the time of execution. Most executions in the system occur instantaneously.

PAS provides participants a simple and easy way to access liquidity that previously has not been exposed to the market. There are two sides to the Primex Auction. On one side, participants expose their orders to seek price improvement opportunities. On the other side, a crowd competes for those orders, bidding at prices at and within the National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO).

The crowd will typically predefine its auction responses, so that orders being exposed can execute instantly. Additionally, market-making firms that expose their customer orders can commit their own capital to guarantee executions within the system. This eliminates the need to route orders to other market centres for execution.

The current list of securities eligible for trading in Primex will be in effect through the end of June 2002, at which time Nasdaq will begin phasing in the balance of Nasdaq, New York Stock Exchange and American Stock Exchange issues. Traders can view the list of securities currently eligible to trade in PAS at: www.primextrading.com/essentials/lookup