Commentary

Tim Quast
Traders Magazine Online News

We're All HFTs Now

In this guest commentary, author Tim Quast looks back at the history of HFT and how the market has evolved to where many firms now fit the definition of high-frequency trader.

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August 31, 2001

The Biggest Programmers

By Gregory Bresiger

Regulators continue to study program trading as a source of market volatility and as a possible new area for additional regulation.

A new report has cited five firms as the biggest program trading operations on the New York Stock Exchange. They include UBS Warburg, which executed the most program activity as a principal for its own account, according to recent figures from the New York Stock Exchange. Other big programming trading firms included Bear Stearns and Spear Leeds. They executed most of their program trades as an agent for customers.

Goldman Sachs and RBC Dominon, two other big program traders, split their activity between acting as an agent and a principal, according to Big Board officials. Program trading amounted to 27.6 percent of average daily Big Board volume of 1,010 million shares, exchange officials said.