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Nasdaq to slash prices for real-time quotes

In a move that could make real-time stock quotes more widely available, the Nasdaq intends to slash prices for individual investors.

    In a move that could make real-time stock quotes more widely available, the Nasdaq intends to slash prices for individual investors.

    The exchange, which is home to hundreds of technology companies, today announced that it will reduce the monthly price of real-time stock quotes for nonprofessionals to $10 from $50.

    The price reduction must be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Nasdaq did not indicate when the approval may be received or when the lower prices would become effective.

    The price cut would apply to online brokers that offer the premium service to customers. Most brokers and Web sites offer quotes that are delayed 20 minutes.

    Nasdaq Quotation Dissemination Service (NQDS), also referred to as Nasdaq Level 2, allows subscribers to view real-time quotes for thousands of Nasdaq securities.

    "By slashing the cost for individual investors and other nonprofessionals to access Nasdaq market data...we continue our ongoing effort to provide investors with the most information possible at the lowest price," Frank G. Zarb, CEO of Nasdaq, said in a statement.

    Robertson Stephens analyst Scott Appleby said: "Everyone will benefit from this because you're giving investors more information." He added that online brokerage firms will "pass along" the price cut to their customers.

    "It's the democratization of information," said Appleby, who covers online brokers E*Trade, Nite Trimark and Ameritrade. "This kind of thing will allow investors to make a few more trades" with the savings they get, he added.