The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday called a meeting of major stock exchanges and alternative trading systems to discuss the controversial push for extended trading hours.
Meanwhile, the head of the National Assn. of Securities Dealers, Frank Zarb, provided more details on a possible public stock offering for the Nasdaq Stock Market.
SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt said the market meeting on extended hours will convene Wednesday, though no location was given.
Levitt, who favors extended hours, said he wants to "ensure that market integrity and investor confidence remain strong" under any extension plans.
The New York Stock Exchange has taken itself out of the running for evening trading this year, but Nasdaq and alternative systems are pushing ahead. Stock markets currently close at 1 p.m. PDT. Some plans call for a second session beginning a few hours later.
Zarb, speaking in Washington, amplified on previously discussed efforts to consider converting Nasdaq into a publicly traded, for-profit corporation. NASD might issue stock in Nasdaq first to "key" investment firms and listed companies in a private placement, and later to investors in an initial public offering, he said.
The NASD board plans to review the conversion plan July 29, and might vote then to submit it to the SEC for final approval.
Zarb also disclosed that NASD is talking to several investment firms about setting up an electronic futures trading system that would initially offer trades in U.S. Treasury debt instruments.