Nasdaq International Securities Exchange (ISE)

delivers fast and efficient execution of Complex, Implied, and Crossing Orders.


Nasdaq ISE (ISE) launched in 2000 as the first all-electronic options exchange in the United States and became part of the Nasdaq Options suite of exchanges in June 2016. Now operating on the best-in-class INET technology, ISE runs on a pro-rata allocation model and ensures fast and efficient executions for Simple, Complex, and Crossing Orders. ISE is a modified maker/taker exchange model and offers rebates and fees based on the product, client designation and order category. It also offers a firm and farMM crossing fee cap and rebates for Complex Priority Customer Orders.

ISE Features

Diverse feature set to meet needs for the trading industry as whole, clients can utilize the specialized auctions, order types and more for an enhanced trading experience.

Full Suite of Auction and Crossing Orders: ISE offers a price improvement mechanism (PIM), facilitation, solicitation, and Qualified Contingent Cross (QCC) order type.

Price Improvement: Price improvement on ISE can be accomplished through auctions for crossing orders as well as the Complex Auction Order (CAO) and the pre-linkage Flash auction.

Routing Strategies: All orders can be marked with the option of Flash and Route, Flash and Do Not Route (DNR), and do not Flash Do Not Route.

Complex Order Book: Innovative technology that enables all market participants to trade smarter by providing efficient and liquid markets for multi-legged strategies (up to 10 legs) including complex, buy-write, and delta neutral orders.

Implied Orders: Enhances ISE’s industry-leading Complex Order Book by enabling interaction of multi-legged orders with the regular order book. This functionality tightens spreads on ISE’s Simple Order Book, resulting in better executions for multi-legged orders and Simple Orders.

Nasdaq Precise: Using Nasdaq Precise, formerly known as PrecISE Trade, traders can access all of ISE’s order types, market data, and the Kill Switch. Nasdaq Precise also allows traders to route orders to all options exchanges via Execution Brokers.

ISE Complex Orders

Nasdaq ISE (ISE) and Nasdaq MRX (MRX) Complex Order spreads represent innovative technology that enables all market participants to trade smarter by providing efficient and liquid markets for multi-legged strategies.

ISE Complex Orders

This fully electronic order book was launched in 2003 and now offers immediate spread execution in over 3,000 products. ISE and MRX provide additional venues for sourcing liquidity for the equity leg of Stock-Option Orders and QCC with Stock Orders including buy-writes and delta neutrals.

ISE and MRX Complex Order spreads offers:

Options Only:

Interaction with ISE and MRX Complex and Regular Order Books 

Exposure Auction Orders      

Facilitation Orders     

Solicitation Orders     

PIM Orders    

Customer-to-Customer Cross

Qualified Contingent Cross   


Tied to Stock:

Interaction with ISE and MRX Complex Book

Exposure Auction Orders

Facilitation Orders

Solicitation Orders

PIM Orders

Customer-to-Customer Cross

Qualified Contingent Cross with Stock



- Automatic Execution

- Access to the ISE and MRX Complex Order Book spreads

- Legging into the regular order book (options-only strategies) without leg-in risk

- Implied Orders enable additional interaction with the regular order book

- Execution of equity legs of Stock-Option Orders via Cowen (formerly Convergex)

- Execution of equity legs of QCC With Stock orders at multiple venues


ISE and MRX Complex Order Features:

- Price/time allocation

- Up to 10 legs, including stock

- Max ratio for options legs 3:1

- Max options-to-stock ratio 8:1

- Orders and executions in pennies

- Market and Limit Orders

- IOC, FOK, Day, GTC, GTD, Opening Only Orders

- Preferenced Orders

- Attributable Orders

- Spread Auctions

- Post trade allocation, including stock leg PTA/give-up

- Stock-Option Orders available for all equity symbols

- Combo market data feeds


Price Protections

Do Not Trade Through (DNTT) Functionality

DNTT orders will not trade through away market prices on any leg. DNTT orders trade at or better than NBBO on each leg (both option and stock legs). Orders not marked as DNTT will continue to be eligible to trade through away market prices (up to $0.05 on each leg).


DNTT orders:

- Are allowed for options-only Complex Orders and Stock-Option Orders, including exposure (Complex Auction Orders)

- May be Limit Orders or Market Orders, any time validity, and any client category

- May be modified, including changing DNTT to non-DNTT, and vice versa

- Are reflected in top of book market data messages, including total DNTT size and total DNTT market order size

- Will rest on the complex order book (excluding IOC or FOK orders) until executable


Spread Price Protections

ISE and MRX offers price protections for vertical and calendar spreads.

*Sell (Buy) market orders (and limit orders entered at a price within the range) can leg into the simple order book at a price higher (lower) than the maximum (minimum) protection range.



Execution fees for Complex Orders set forth in ISE and MRX fee schedules apply to options legs as well as the equity leg of Stock-Option Orders that trade in the complex order book. Additional charges for stock executions are billed on your ISE and MRX monthly statement. Rate per share, per side may be found on the ISE Official Fee Schedule and MRX Official Fee Schedule respectively.


Additional fees may apply and be billed by the equity venue (e.g., SEC Section 31 fees, NASD Trading Activity fee).


Stock-Tied Order Submission

ISE and MRX support routing the equity leg of Stock-Option Orders to Cowen, and the equity leg of QCC with stock orders to Cheevers, Libucki, and Fog.


If you are not yet enabled for ISE and MRX tied to stock functionality, or if you are enabled but wish to request additional routing destinations, please complete the ISE and MRX Stock Routing Authorization Form. The form will require certification that the requesting firm is a member of the venues requested on the form and has submitted the documentation required by each venue. Please contact Membership for more information.


Once Nasdaq and the requested stock routing venues have reviewed and approved the required documentation, your firm can be enabled for Stock-Option Orders and QCC with Stock Orders. Note that an additional software download is not required for Nasdaq Precise users: Stock-Option and QCC With Stock Orders may be entered into Precise using the With Stock Order ticket.

ISE Products

ISE offers options trading on more than 3,000 underlying equity, ETF and index products. Our unique market structure and technology fosters deep and liquid markets with competitive prices.

- Equity & ETF Options

- Index Options

- Quarterly Options

- Weekly Options

- Nasdaq-100® Index Options product suite (NDX, NQX and NDXP)

Risk Management

Comprehensive risk management features are built into ISE’s trading technology and include the following protections.

Market Wide Speed Bump: 

- Inactivates quotes and prevents any quotes from being activated.

- Triggered based on a value, which is defined as the number of curtailment events within a specified time period across the entire market.

- Value defined by the Market Maker and implemented by Market Operations.

- Threshold established and calculated for ISE.

- Quote reactivation and re-entry into the market requires contacting Market Operations.

- Required for all ISE Market Makers.

Cross Market Wide Speed Bump: 

- Inactivates quotes and prevents new or existing quotes from being activated.

- Triggered based on a value, which is defined as the number of curtailment events within a specified time period across the entire market.

- Value defined by the Market Maker and implemented by Market Operations.

- Threshold established and calculated for ISE independently.

- Quote reactivation and re-entry into the markets requires contacting Market Operations.

- Optional for all Market Makers.

- Supplements existing Market Wide Speed Bump feature required for Market Makers on each exchange individually.

Price Limit Check: Core Functionality: Simple or Complex Orders which exceed the BBO by the greater of $1.00 or 1% during the regular market trading state are rejected.

Cancel on Disconnect: Cancels all open orders on disconnect.

Vertical Spread Check: Core Functionality:

- Vertical spreads entered with a negative limit price will be rejected.

- Vertical spreads are prevented from legging in to Simple Order quotes if the net trade would result in a negative price.

Spread Trade Through Limit: Core Functionality: A spread will not trade through the NBBO by more than $0.05 per leg of the Complex Order strategy.

Complex Strategy Minimum Price Limit: Core Functionality: A Complex Order strategy with all legs being bought or sold cannot be priced below the aggregate minimum tradable price for each component in the strategy ($0.01). Applicable Complex Order strategies entered below this limit will be rejected.

Kill Switch: Core Functionality: The Kill Switch allows member firms to cancel all open orders and prevent new order submission. This feature provides firms with a powerful risk management tool for immediate control of their order activity. Kill Switch can be targeted to affect an entire member firm, specific trading desks within a member firm or specific sessions within a trading desk.


Through our primary data center, firms can access all eleven of Nasdaq's U.S. Markets via Direct Connection or Co-Location. Nasdaq also offers customers the ability to connect to our markets from key financial data centers outside our Carteret facility through our Point of Presence Service.

Trading Protocols:

Specialized Quote Interface (SQF): Market makers provide liquidity using SQF, which allows market makers to supply up to 200 quotes in one message.

Financial Information eXchange (FIX): A vendor-neutral standard message protocol used for submitting orders to PHLX.

OUCH to Trade Options (OTTO): This proprietary protocol, based on OUCH technology, provides customers with a fast and efficient protocol allowing subscribers to efficiently enter options orders into and receive executions from Nasdaq.

Clearing Trade Interface (CTI): The Options Clearing Trade Interface is a product that disseminates clearing trades, trade corrections, trade cancels and optional administrative messages.

Market Data

Gain direct access to the full options data feed suite via multiple exchange venues—based on time, complexity, and uniformity. Through trader sentiment tools and aggregated trading activity indicators, market participants can analyze options trade and volume data, and create and test trading models and strategies.

Regulatory, Fees, and Customer Tools

Review all pertinent information to properly leverage the exchange.

Authorized Give-Up

Restricting an OCC clearing number and authorized member organization.

Restricting an OCC Clearing Number

- PHLX Rule 1037, ISE, GEMX, MRX Rules 707, and NOM and BX Options Rules Chapter VI Section 14 allow Clearing Members to request the Exchange restrict allowable usage of one or more of their OCC clearing numbers.

- To request a restriction on an OCC clearing number, a Clearing Member must submit a completed “Clearing Member Restriction Form” to the Exchange’s Membership Department.

- “Clearing Member Restriction Form” requests will be effective and systematically enforced ninety days after being received by the Exchange once the Exchange’s implementation date has occurred.

- Note, a clearing arrangement subject to a Letter of Guarantee automatically permits the Give-Up of a Restricted OCC Number by the member organization / Member that is party to the arrangement and no further written authorization is required.

Authorized Member Organization / Authorized Member

- A PHLX, ISE, GEMX, MRX, NOM, or BX Options member organization / Member desiring to Give-Up a Restricted OCC Number must become an Authorized Member Organization / Authorized Member.

- To become an Authorized Member Organization / Authorized Member, the Exchange requires written authorization, in the form of a completed “Clearing Member Restriction Form”, from the Clearing Member permitting the member organization / Member to Give-Up a Clearing Member’s Restricted OCC Number.

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