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August 11, 2010

CBOE Unveils New Front End

By James Ramage

The Chicago Board Options Exchange has a new way for options traders to access the markets. This month, CBOE introduces its new front end, Pulse. The technology is the first product to emerge from Signal Trading Systems, a recent joint venture created through a partnership between CBOE and FlexTrade Systems.

According to CBOE, Pulse represents a significant improvement over the HyTS terminal that Belzberg Technologies designed for the exchange's customers in 2004. The International Securities Exchange, a CBOE competitor, is the only other options exchange with its own proprietary front end.

In addition to the seven other options exchanges, Pulse will eventually access CBOE's new C2 options exchange. It will also access the equities markets and the futures contracts on the CBOE Futures Exchange, said Ed Provost, executive vice president at CBOE.

"Initially we're not going to be plugged into futures exchanges other than CFE," he said. "But down the road, that's certainly a possibility."

Pulse lets traders sweep the top of the book across exchanges. It also gives users the most up-to-date functionality and applies the latest rule changes at the CBOE. By comparison, commercial front ends have a difficult time doing this, Provost said.

"Each of the options exchanges has fairly unique market models," he said. "And those models are characterized by many different order types, unique auctions that we run, crossing mechanisms and spread order entry capabilities."


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