NYSE Euronext today said it started routing U.S. stock orders to the 29 broker-dealers and alternative trading systems, or dark pools, that want to participate in the new program. The NYSE Arca service, which will include price improvement or the guarantee to execute orders at a price within the best bid and offer, is the first of this type to add access to dark pools liquidity by an exchange, according to a statement from NYSE Euronext. As alternative systems attract volume away from the exchanges, the routing initiative is expected to help the NYSE be more competitive by giving its customers a better chance to execute orders at a better price. Broker-dealers and alternative systems are often referred to as dark pools because they do not display quotes.
Nasdaq OMX Group has also announced a similar program, but it is not live yet.