People-intensive physical floors for trading listed stocks are on their way out as financial markets become more institutional and computerized. So far, the NYSE has been the premier international equities market, but its position is being jeopardized by aggressive competitiors. Someday, there will be around-the-clock, around-the-world automated stock trading. But the simple assumption that such trading lurks around the corner ignores a number of complicating factors. The emerging market configuration will depend on a threshold volume of after-hours trading, the listing of global companies in electronic markets, access for all brokers and dealers, vastly improved clearing and settlement procedures, the effective dissemination of trading information, and the international adoption of appropriate rules and regulations. The race to become the dominant international equity market place will be decided by entrepreneurs responding to these powerful new competitive forces.
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