SEC Grants Extension of the Intermarket Trading System De Minimis Exemption


Washington, D.C., May 30, 2003 -- The Securities and Exchange Commission today granted an extension of the de minimis exemption from the provisions of the Intermarket Trading System Plan (ITS Plan) governing intermarket trade-throughs. The de minimis exemption was originally issued by the Commission on Aug. 28, 2002, and granted relief through June 4, 2003. The Commission's August 2002 order exempted from the trade-through provisions of the ITS Plan transactions in three specific exchange-traded funds (ETFs): the Nasdaq-100 Index ETF (QQQ), the Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ETF (SPY). The exemption permits transactions in the three ETFs to be effected at prices no more than three cents worse than the national best bid and offer.

Today's order extends this de minimis exemption for an additional nine-months through March 4, 2004. During this extended exemption period, the Commission intends to consider whether to adopt the de minimis exemption on a permanent basis, to adopt some other alternative solution, or to allow the exemption to expire.

Copies of the Commission's order can be obtained by contacting the SEC's Public Reference Room, 450 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20549-06009 or by accessing the Commission's Web site at

Last modified: 5/30/2003