Monday, March 01, 2010

Equity Trader Alert #2010 - 11
NASDAQ OMX Will Introduce New Suffix Symbology Plan for NASDAQ-listed Securities Effective September 1, 2010

Markets Impacted:

  • The NASDAQ Stock Market

Contact Information:

What you need to know:

  • Effective September 1, 2010, NASDAQ OMX will introduce a new suffix symbology plan in preparation for the listing and trading of 5-character root symbols.

What is the new NASDAQ OMX suffix symbology plan?

In preparation for the listing and trading of 5-character root symbols, NASDAQ OMXSM will introduce a new symbology suffix plan for all new and current NASDAQ®-listed securities.

Effective September 1, 2010, NASDAQ OMX will identify all subordinate issues for NASDAQ-listed securities with a “.” delimiter. The character following the delimiter will now relay the basic information about the issue class or issue type. The suffix may follow a root symbol of any length. The A-Z character modifier definitions will not change.


  • Current Plan: ABCDW (ABCD common stock warrants)
  • New Plan: ABCD.W (ABCD common stock warrants)

Is there a set length for root symbols?

Yes, NASDAQ-listed securities may have a root symbol from 1-5 characters in length. The suffix may follow a root symbol of any length. For example, A.A, AB.A, ABC.A, ABCD.A, ABCDE.A.

Why is NASDAQ OMX making this change?

NASDAQ OMX is modifying the suffix symbology plan in order to avoid any investor confusion associated with the listing and trading of 5-character root symbols.

What symbols are affected?

NASDAQ-listed symbols that follow the current suffix symbology plan will be migrated to the new plan outlined above. This includes subordinate issues with 1 to 4 character root symbols and American Depository Receipts that follow the current NASDAQ suffix symbology.

Refer to the list of affected NASDAQ-listed symbols for more information. Please note this list is subject to change.

Does this plan affect non-NASDAQ listed securities?

No, this plan is only inclusive of NASDAQ-listed symbols.

How are data feeds affected?

As announced in Data Technical News #2010-3, NASDAQ has increased the size of its data feeds to accommodate the increased field size length of 5-character root symbols. All of these new equity data feeds will be affected by the suffix symbology change. Additionally, the legacy version of these feeds will also be affected as they will carry the new suffix symbology for NASDAQ-listed issues.

Any historical data for affected suffixes should be updated so that historical data is not lost. Firms can do this through a mapping of the historical data or by simply updating the symbols for all of the historical data.

Does this change affect only NASDAQ Proprietary products or is UTP Level 1 also affected?

This change affects all data within the equity data feeds for NASDAQ-listed issues including UTP Level 1. All data feeds will contain symbols that follow the same suffix symbology as outlined above.

Will NASDAQ OMX be changing the symbol logic for MFQS securities?

NASDAQ OMX has no immediate plans to change Mutual Fund Quotation ServiceSM (MFQSSM) symbols. Until further notice, NASDAQ OMX will continue to assign 5 or 6-character symbols ending with “X” for MFQS instruments. NASDAQ OMX will take the necessary steps, through the Intermarket Symbol Reservation Authority (ISRA), to avoid any overlap between MFQS symbols and new 5-character symbols being assigned for exchange-listed securities.

Where can I find additional information?

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