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A Blueprint for a Better Tomorrow

Update on our efforts to Revitalize U.S. Equity Markets

Two years ago, Nasdaq launched our plan to reform and revitalize U.S. equity markets to better serve American investors and companies of all sizes. Since presenting, The Promise of Market Reform; Reigniting America’s Economic Engine, we have worked to make our proposals a reality, advocating in Washington, D.C. and throughout the financial community to turn our ideas into reality to improve U.S. equity markets. In Congress, bipartisan members worked together to pass seven bills in committee or on the house floor to improve capital formation. Securities regulators have been strong partners, issuing 13 rules and announcements to help address issues Revitalize highlighted. The industry actively and constructively debated the nuanced issues highlighted in Revitalize, leading to action that will allow public investors to benefit from a more robust and diverse public company ecosystem.

It is time we expand our agenda to a serious and balanced debate focused on the market structure that supports trading of public companies. Market structure has a significant impact on the cost of capital and return on equity that companies and their investors rely upon to grow and expand their businesses. Market structure also defines the experience investors have in the public markets, which plays a key role in how willing they are to invest their hard-earned dollars in public companies.

Our latest blueprint, available here, examines the rules of yesterday and the markets of today, and charts proposals to make a path to better markets tomorrow.

Centralizing liquidity in small company stocks

Give companies the choice to trade on a market without Unlisted Trading Privileges or Regulation NMS obligations to concentrate their limited liquidity on their home exchange.


Eliminate the Order Protection Rule for the smallest markets to allow for innovation outside of the stringent requirements of Regulation NMS.


Recognize different liquidity characteristics of small and large company stocks.


Charge customers based on actually using the data in a manner consistent with the category than by whether the person works for a bank, brokerage or advisory company.

Reform the SIPs

The SIP monopolies should be reviewed to ensure that they only include data to meet regulatory mandates.

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Our proposals are the result of months of discussions with industry participants, including a concentrated effort to engage with institutional investors and retail brokers, and we will continue engaging.

Our recommendations focus on creating more market choice and opportunity across three key areas:

1) Smaller publicly traded companies; 2) Institutional investors; and 3) Retail and long-term investors.

Tomorrow’s markets, if governed with properly calibrated regulation, should embrace rapid technological advancement for the betterment of all market participants and continue to unleash the dynamic, entrepreneurial spirit that drives the U.S. economy.

The ideas that follow will help us build these markets together. We look forward to transforming these ideas into action in the coming weeks and months.

Making the Case for Market Structure Reform


Learn how your investments, company and the economy can benefit from stronger capital markets.

Test Driving the Access Fee Pilot>

A data-driven analysis of the cost of the Access Fee Pilot.

Access Insights From Nasdaq’s Chief Economist>

Chief Economist Phil Mackintosh examines the markets and makes the case for market structure that benefits Main Street.

Promoting Transparency: Nasdaq’s Market Data Proposals>

Core to Nasdaq's mission is the belief that markets are stronger when they are transparent and create a level playing field for investors.
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