MARKETS Buying Time

MARKETS Buying Time

The peal of the 4 p.m. closing bell is one of the enduring symbols of Manhattan's New York Stock Exchange. Increasingly, it is also one of its most antiquated. Modern moneymaking is a 24-hour-a-day enterprise. Overseas exchanges, active when it is nighttime in New York City, are eating into the Big Board's business. More than 70 U.S. companies are traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and close to 200 list their securities in London.

In a long anticipated response, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard Breeden last week announced the first step toward what may well become round-the-clock trading at the...

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