SEC Chief Urges Unity in Extending Trading

Associated Press

Major U.S. stock markets moved closer to a unified front Wednesday on how to move to extend stock trading into the late evening and early-morning hours.

At a summit in Wall Street's backyard, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt stressed that the new extended hours should be the same for all U.S. markets, despite varying proposals from the Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange.

Frank Zarb, head of the National Assn. of Securities Dealers, which governs the Nasdaq market, concurred, backing off his aggressive plan to offer extended hours as soon as September.

"We generally agree on the principle that the industry should do this in a coordinated way," Zarb said. "It is very likely we would aspire to a uniform date."

Levitt said it would be too confusing for investors to have different exchanges open different hours.

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