This week's In the News reports on regulatory developments in online investing. On January 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a request from Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. to expand the time period that market makers must post pre-trading prices for IPO shares on the NASDAQ stock market from five minutes to fifteen minutes. This new rule followed the adoption of general SEC guidelines on the capacity, integrity, and security standards of electronic trading systems in December. While some view these decisions as important regulatory measures meant to curb "day trading," investment strategies that bet on the narrowest spreads in stock prices in order to gain quick profits before the margin evaporates, others see the new rules as a powerful message from Wall Street insiders meant to discourage a growing number of lesser-known electronic traders. Many agree, however, that electronic trading systems will become over-burdened by increased transactions in the future and action must taken now to ensure their reliability as virtual exchange floors. The nine resources discussed provide SEC documents, news, and background information on the phenomenon of day trading as well as the "volatile" but popular electronic market -- the NASDAQ.


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