Lead Stories

BATS Board Considers Listing an IPO on Rival
Exchange’s Board Considers Listing a Relaunched IPO on NYSE or Nasdaq
BATS Global Markets’ board is debating whether to list the company on a rival exchange once it revisits plans for an initial public offering, a step that would further undermine its bid to challenge NYSE Euronext NYX +0.08% and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. NDAQ -2.33% for corporate listings. BATS’s first IPO attempt ended in disaster in March, when the company pulled the offering over what it called a technical glitch on its own exchange. The setback halted BATS’s ambitions for its fledgling corporate-listings business, of which BATS was to be the first customer.

CFE to Launch Futures on CBOE NASDAQ-100 Volatility Index (VXN) (NASDAQ:CBOE)
Allows Investors to Trade Volatility in Premier Technology-Weighted Index
Press Release
CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE) announced today that it plans to launch trading on the CBOE NASDAQ-100 Volatility Index futures contract (ticker symbol VXN, futures symbol VN) beginning on Wednesday, May 23, pending regulatory approval.
VXN, which measures the volatility of the NASDAQ-100 Index, is calculated through the application of CBOE’s VIX® methodology to the prices of options on NDX.The NASDAQ-100 Index represents the largest non-financial U.S. and international securities listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market®, based on market capitalization. As of May 15, 2012, 63.76 percent of the Index securities were classified as technology.

ICAP eyes futures with PLUS exchange
by Luke Jeffs, Reuters
ICAP (IAP.L) plans to start trading European futures and options on the PLUS stock exchange, in a move to tackle the dominance of exchanges NYSE Euronext (NYX.N) and Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE).
The British broker, which paid a nominal 1 pound for the stock exchange unit of struggling PLUS Markets Group (PMK.L) on Friday, said the acquisition would enable it to move into new asset classes.

Fear Stalks the Financial Sector 
Put buying of banks is reminiscent of 2008 increases as Europe’s woes worsen.
by By STEVEN M. SEARS, Barron’s
Options trading in the financial sector has taken on hues eerily similar to 2008.
Investors are aggressively buying bearish puts on major U.S. banks in anticipation Europe’s debt crisis slams Goldman Sachs (ticker: GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS).
Trading is reminiscent of the dark days of the credit crisis when bearish put options were aggressively bought to profit from the anticipated declines of major banks embroiled in the maelstrom.

Emerging Stocks Head for Longest Streak of Weekly Losses 
By Christine Harvey and Stephen Gunnion, Bloomberg
Emerging-market stocks fell, heading for the longest string of weekly losses since 1994, as Citigroup Inc. cut its estimate for the gauge and a drop in Chinese property prices dimmed the global growth outlook…
The IShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index exchange-traded fund, the most-traded ETF tracking developing-nation shares, fell 0.2 percent to $37.58. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Emerging Markets ETF Volatility Index (VXEEM), a measure of options prices on the fund and expectations of price swings, rose 0.8 percent to 36.44.

Schwab to Shut Down brokersXpress 
By: Zacks Equity Research, Zacks Investment Research
The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW – Analyst Report) is preparing to pull down the shutters of its brokersXpress unit, a wing of optionsXpress Holdings, Inc within the next couple of months. This was reported by Reuters on Wednesday. brokersXpress’ inability to fit in the strategic setting may have prompted Schwab to opt for such an action.
Schwab acquired optionsXpress, a retail online brokerage company focusing mainly on equity options and future acquisitions, in September last year for a whopping $1 billion. Schwab’s main purpose behind this acquisition was to enhance its equity-business and introduce options and futures trading to its customers.

Option players seek shelter as risk gauge rises 
By Doris Frankel, Reuters
Option investors are seeking protection against a sharp decline in U.S. equities in the near term as uncertainty grows over the European debt crisis and the health of the global economy.
Wall Street stock indexes hit a four-month low on Thursday as rising Spanish bond yields increased investor anxiety over that country’s banks and another round of weak U.S. data undermined hopes for the economic recovery.
The benchmark S&P 500 index, which logged its fifth straight session of declines, has fallen 6.1 percent so far in May.


CME Group to Start Expanded CBOT Grain and Oilseed Trading Hours May 20
Press Release
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it received CFTC approval to offer expanded electronic trading hours in its CBOT grain and oilseed futures and options beginning Sunday, May 20 for Monday, May 21 trade date. Hours will expand from the current 17 hours per day to 21 hours per day on CME Globex from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT Sunday to Friday.
Products included in the expanded hours are CBOT Corn, Mini-Sized Corn, Soybeans, Mini-Sized Soybeans, Wheat, Mini-Sized Wheat, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Rough Rice, Oats, and Ethanol futures and options plus all related calendar spread options and inter-commodity spread options.
Daily settlements will continue to be based on market activity at or around 1:15 p.m. CT each day. Additionally, open-outcry trading hours will continue to operate from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CT Monday to Friday.

At CME, an Uproar Over Trading Hours
The battle between man and machine is heating up in the Chicago trading pits, where America’s most basic crops have been bought and sold since the 19th century. A plan by CME Group Inc. to allow nearly round-the-clock electronic trading on its Chicago Board of Trade is drawing fire from brokers, farmers and floor traders who contend the switch will make them even less able to compete with rapid-fire, high-frequency traders.

CME Amends Grain-Trading Plan After Industry Complained 
By Tony C. Dreibus, Bloomberg
CME Group Inc. (CME) (CME), the world’s largest futures exchange, amended a proposal for expanded trading in grains to 21 hours a day after withdrawing an earlier plan for 22 hours that drew complaints from clients.
Trading on CME Group’s Chicago Board of Trade will be from 5 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday through Friday, the company said today in a statement. The CBOT currently allows trading 17 hours a day. No date was set for the transition, which will occur “as soon as possible” and no later than June 4, said Chris Gra
ms, a spokesman for the Chicago-based company.

CBOE, C2, CFE, and CBSX Trading Schedule for Memorial Day Holiday
 Press Release
CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) today announced the trading schedule for Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), C2 Options Exchange (C2), CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE), and CBOE Stock Exchange (CBSX) in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.  The trading schedule is as follows:Friday, May 25:  CBOE, C2, CFE, and CBSX will have regular trading hours for all products.Monday, May 28:  CBOE, C2, CFE, and CBSX will be closed.


CFTC approves CME’s 21-hour grain cycle 
By Tom Polansek, Reuters
CME Group on Friday said it would start nearly around-the-clock grain trading on Sunday night, reasserting itself as the dominant player in markets it created.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved CME’s plan to increase electronic trading for grain futures and options at its historic Chicago Board of Trade to 21 hours per session from 17 hours.
The massive exchange operator had originally sought an increase to 22 hours but pared down the plan after grain groups complained the longer cycle would drive up costs.


NASDAQ OMX Data Center Launches Express Connect for Co-Location Clients 
Press Release
The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) today announced the launch of Express Connect, a low latency, point-to-point network solution offering connectivity from the NASDAQ OMX Data Center in the U.S. to major financial trading and co-location venues in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Canada.
CFN Services, a leading provider of automated trading enablement services and Sidera Networks, the premier provider of fiber optic-based network solutions, will be the initial suppliers helping NASDAQ OMX enable Express Connect.  By partnering with CFN Services and Sidera Networks, NASDAQ OMX will provide significantly lower communications latency through a secure and highly efficient network, which may be expanded across the globe.
As trading strategies, market data delivery and regulation all require connectivity at multiple venues, market participants who are co-located at the NASDAQ OMX Data Center will benefit from ultra low latency connections to major liquidity hubs from a consolidated access point.  Express Connect will help market participants reduce network infrastructure and take advantage of a turnkey solution. Not only does the network facilitate connectivity to other data centers, but it also helps market participants connect to their own backup systems or other firms.

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