WALL STREET: Traders' Last Stand

The New York Stock Exchange discreetly raised its voice last week in defense of another of its old and vanishing institutions —floor trading. Reason: the Securities and Exchange Commission was getting ready to put floor traders out of business.

As defined by SEC, "floor trading is buying or selling by a member for his own account which is initiated by the member while he is physically on the exchange floor." But no matter how defined, SEC has never liked it, refuses to concede that floor traders' deals often tend to smooth out violent price swings. As far back as June 1936,...

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