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Robert Sales
Robert Sales
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In Brief

In an attempt to enhance price transparency in the fixed income market, the NASD has submitted a proposal to the SEC to implement a new trade reporting and transaction facility for corporate bonds. The plan for NASD's Trade Reporting and Comparison Entry Service (TRACE) was derived from Nasdaq's Automated confirmation transaction Service (ACT) and will be implemented in two phases. In the spring of 2000, NASD members will begin reporting all over-the-counter transactions for eligible corporate bonds and those transactions will be sent to TRACE within one hour of execution. Phase 2 of the implementation will require 15-minute reporting, with dissemination of trade report data and assessment of impact on market liquidity.

Separately, the Nasdaq Composite Index broke the 3000 point mark for the first time in its 28-year history on November 3, closing at 3027.84. Over the past year, the Nasdaq Composite has risen 38%. The Index measures all domestic and non-U.S. common stocks listed on the Nasdaq electronic stock market.

OptiMark Technologies has formed an alliance with Knight/Trimark Group, a wholesale equities market maker, for the firm to provide proprietary capital and continually place retail orders in the OptiMark electronic equity matching system. The three-year arrangement will also allow Knight/Trimark to earn warrants in OptiMark Technologies' stock based on amounts of trading volume it provides. Knight/Trimark, which could eventually earn the largest stake in OptiMark, joins a list of OptiMark shareholders that includes Merrill Lynch, PaineWebber, Goldman Sachs, American Century, Softbank and General Atlantic Partners.

London-based stockbroker Options Direct Ltd. (ODL) has launched an online trading service called myBroker, using Track Data Corp.'s myTrack software for personal investment. Track Data, a provider of real-time market data, news, research, charting and analytical services and online trading, will receive 10% ownership in ODL as part of the arrangement. ODL customers will receive a customized version of myTrack's Internet-based online trading and market data system for live market data and trading activity.

Wit Capital Group, parent company of online investment banking firm Wit Capital Corp., has acquired SoundView Technology Group. SoundView is a private firm offering a range of services in the technology sector including investment banking, research and trading. The deal, which is expected to close in January, calls for Wit Capital to acquire 100% of the fully diluted shares of SoundView in return for about $320 million in newly issued Wit Capital common shares and options.

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