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NYSE-Nasdaq Merger Talk Evokes Skepticism

Market Savvy | Savvy Confidential / A Briefing for
Investors

March 04, 2000|Reuters

A merger of the New York Stock Exchange and the National Assn. of Securities Dealers would have to overcome huge obstacles, Wall Street professionals said Friday, reacting with skepticism to news that the two institutions had talked about a combination.

A Wall Street executive and a trader at a money management firm said it would be difficult to merge two systems with different cultures. The NYSE relies on a physical trading floor with exclusive market-makers for each of its stocks while the NASD's Nasdaq market has no floor and uses multiple dealers for each stock who compete with one another.

One source close to the situation said it was the NYSE that came knocking on the NASD's door. The source, who declined to be identified, said the NASD decided to reject the overture and continue on its present program of international expansion and enhancement to its stock-quote display system.

"There are currently no negotiations, no agreements, and no deals between the NASD and the NYSE on a possible merger," a Nasdaq spokesman said.

"Everybody in the industry speaks with everybody else about possibilities," an NYSE spokesman said.

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