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Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Nasdaq suspends stock delistings
Nasdaq market site, located on Times Square in New York City
The attacks have caused Nasdaq to re-evaluate policies
Nearly 700 publicly traded companies whose stocks trade on the Nasdaq have been spared being removed from the electronic trading system.

In an expected move, Nasdaq's board on Wednesday night approved a suspension of its listing requirements on stocks listed on its exchange, which include maintaining a minimum $1 bid price for 30 straight days.

Nasdaq chief executive Wick Simmons
Nasdaq chief executive Wick Simmons took the action following the 11 September attacks
Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange in the US, will suspend its listing regulations immediately and until 2 January. Currently 15%, or 669 firms, now trade below $1 a share.

The move was made in response to the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center, which have resulted in tumbling stock prices during the 10 days since New York markets reopened after a four-day hiatus.

Seeking greater stability

Wick Simmons, chairman and chief executive officer of Nasdaq said the National Market has implemented the action in the hopes of bringing "greater stability to the marketplace during these times of economic uncertainty."

Before the suspension, a company could be removed from the Nasdaq exchange if the firm did not get its closing share price above the $1-a -share level for 10 consecutive trading days over a three-month period.

The attacks compounded an already difficult investing environment after the bubble burst, which has caused technology stocks to plummet for the last 18 months.

So far this year, approximately 250 dot.coms have shut and around 380 stocks have been delisted from the Nasdaq exchange.

Spirit of cooperation

Separately, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq Stock Market are sorting out details that would allow the exchanges to trade one another's stock in the event of an emergency, Thursday editions of the Wall Street Journal reported.

Each exchange is seeking to prevent the sort of interruption that followed the 11 September attacks which stopped trading for four days.

There are myriad details to work out - not the least of which is how the NYSE, which uses one- to three-letter symbols, would trade Nasdaq stocks, which feature a four-letter symbols.

The one-time rival stock exchanges are embarking on a new spirit of cooperation much like that which has swept the US Congress in the days following the attacks on the Trade Towers and the Pentagon.

The talks have also discussed the viability of maintaining the floor-trading system utilised by the NYSE, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While all Nasdaq transactions are electronic, the New York Stock Exchange still hosts roughly 3,000 traders on the floor of the exchange.

See also:

18 Sep 01 | Business
Net buzzes to shares debate
18 Sep 01 | Business
Wall Street stabilises
28 Aug 01 | Entertainment
Michael Jackson and the Nasdaq
20 Sep 01 | Business
Top US policymakers say 'wait'
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