It’s electric!

For a long time, investors and companies have urged the New York Stock Exchange to use available technology in order to ensure more efficient trading. Now, the Big Board has listened.

By removing two restrictions - one that requires a 30-second limit for consecutive orders and another that disallows any order of more than 1,099 shares - and by adding market orders (rather than just limit orders) to the okayed list of NYSE Direct+ trades, the Exchange has expanded the role of computerized trading in its operations. The official proposal came in the form of a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday.

"Our goal is to continue offering investors the best price as well as the most compelling array of order-execution choices," said NYSE CEO John Thain. "Only the NYSE provides this blend of market models, from completely automated to high value-added."

Thain admitted that the new permissions, which were made public during a press conference Thursday, were "consistent with the requests of many of our customers." In a turmoil-ridden year that included the resignation of former head Dick Grasso, the Big Board has begun to re-focus its attention toward satisfying its customers to their utmost.

The automated NYSE Direct+ system accounts for less than 10% of the board’s trades, although the new proposals will most likely drive that percentage higher.

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