Finding Depth to Inform Markets of the Future

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    When much of the world entered lockdown at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unexpected phenomenon began to take shape on Wall Street. The “rise of retail” was a moniker that emerged during this period to describe the unprecedented entrance of new retail participants into the stock market. In January 2021, approximately 6 million people downloaded trading apps in the U.S., which contributed to record-high average daily volumes for equity and options trades. At multiple times during 2021, retail investors made up one-third of all U.S. stock market trading. Interestingly, the rise of retail phenomena is a global trend, with an oversized impact across the APAC region.

    Many retail investors trade through online brokerage firms, and more than ever, firms require access to data and insights that satisfy their retail clients’ appetite for information. A previous white paper, Leveraging Insights to Empower Economies, explains the structure of the U.S. capital markets, how they function and why this is important to investors. A key takeaway is that the ability to interpret market data generated by the capital markets enables investors to make better informed trading decisions.

    This white paper goes one step further. It provides some background on the market structure of the U.S. equity market for context. Then it discusses how the granular depth-of-book data in Nasdaq TotalView allows investors to take their decisions to the next level. Nasdaq TotalView – the premium depth data product for serious traders – displays the full order book depth on Nasdaq. It shows every quote and order at every price level in Nasdaq, NYSE and regional-listed securities on Nasdaq. TotalView also disseminates the Net Order Imbalance Indicator (NOII) for the Nasdaq opening and closing crosses and Nasdaq IPO/halt cross.

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