The Right Thing to Do, From Any Angle: Curbing HFT Advantage

By Sarah Skerik, Vice President, Content Marketing, PR Newswire

 

I used to live across the street from a fellow who worked for a hedge fund, writing software code designed to machine-read data and execute stock trades in hundredths of a second.   One night, as we were standing out by our mailboxes chatting, we realized that our jobs intersected, an interesting conversation ensued.

We had been talking about emerging news feed formats and the fact that he had figured out how to write code that could machine-read the news announcements about the macroeconomic events of the day (e.g. jobs reports, durable goods orders, etc.) and execute trades based upon that data – automatically and in the blink of an eye.  Our conversation soon turned towards his interest in getting access to our news feeds.

I bring this up because this conversation was similar to one of the many discussions our leaders have had here at PR Newswire over the past decade. We’ve had ample opportunity to sell our direct feed to high frequency trading outfits, and have evaluated doing so through many different lenses.  And our answer has always been no.  Today, we received some powerful affirmation from the New York Attorney General that we continue to do the right thing.

“By going the extra mile to ensure its service is not abused by high-frequency traders – at any time during the trading day and in the moments after the closing bell – PR Newswire has proven itself to be an industry leader,” said New YorkAttorney General Schneiderman in a press release issued Thursday about the steps PR Newswire is taking to curb preferential access to material news  for high frequency trading firms.  “High-frequency traders can use information in the milliseconds before it becomes widely available to other investors, effectively skimming from the rest of the investing public. Today’s agreement is another important step toward curbing Insider Trading 2.0, and PR Newswire deserves credit for its leadership.”

Click here to read the entire post on Beyond PR.

Published: May 1, 2014 By: davidk