stock exchange

SEC website offers window into stock market analytics

Wall Street firms lave long invested in the latest information technology to provide traders with micro-seconds’ advantage in making the best buy or sell decisions for their clients. 

Now the federal government, which generates a good deal of the data on which those decisions are made, is offering the public electronic access to some of those tools through a new market analytics website. 

The Security and Exchange Commission’s Market Structure Data and Analysis website, will serve as a central location for the SEC to publicly share data, research and analysis. The public will be able to use the site to review SEC research, use interactive data visualization tools to model SEC data and download data sets for analysis. 

“We are launching what we believe to be a game changer that focuses the market structure debate as never before on data and analysis rather than anecdote,”SEC Chair Mary Jo White said in unveiling the website at an SEC news conference.

“By also making this information publicly accessible, two great things should happen,” she said. “It should increase efficiency so people don’t have to struggle to find this information — and it should spur innovation by using the power of data and research to unlock a wealth of ideas from investors, market participants and academics.”

The website will give the public access to data that became available earlier this year when SEC launched its Market Information Data Analytics System (MIDAS), an internal agency system that provides SEC information about security orders posted by the nation’s stock exchanges. 

Everyday, MIDAS scoops up 1 billion records that are time-stamped to the microsecond, according to the SEC, including tapes and proprietary feeds of each stock exchange, all posted orders and quotes and trades both on- and off-exchange. SEC said the next steps in the market structure project include offering more  aggregated data and analysis drawn from MIDAS to the public. 

“Market junkies are bound to find the new site fascinating,” said Brenda Hamilton, a blogger for Securities Lawyer 101.   

“Eventual public discussion should be helpful both for the SEC and for interested observers,” she added. “Now everyone can form an idea of what kind of tools the SEC is using to detect potential dangers that could result in another flash crash or similar event.”

About the Author

Paul McCloskey is editor-in-chief of GCN. Follow him on Twitter: @Paul_GCN.

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