Regulators Examining Sales of Early Financial Data

The financial industry is bracing for new scrutiny of services that give trading firms an advance look at market-moving data and news. The New York attorney general’s office has been taking a broad look at the common practice. On Monday, one prominent data provider, Thomson Reuters, under pressure from the attorney general, announced that it was suspending an early release of a consumer confidence survey to clients who paid extra. …

In the trading world, though, speed has taken on a particular importance over the last decade as an increasing proportion of traders in the financial markets have come to rely on a time advantage. Such superfast computer-programmed trading means that just two seconds — the advantage that Thomson Reuters was giving its clients for early access to the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey — can make all the difference in trading millions of dollars’ worth of stocks or bonds or other investments. [cont.]

Nathaniel Popper, New York Times