- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 1, 2003

NEW YORK, Jan. 1 (UPI) — With the new year, new trading rules come into effect on the New York Stock Exchange.

As of Thursday, there will be revised circuit-breaker trigger levels for the first quarter of 2003, the NYSE announced.

Circuit-breaker points are the thresholds at which trading halts marketwide for single-day declines in the Dow Jones industrial average. During the first quarter, the 10-, 20- and 30-percent decline levels, respectively, in the Dow will be:

— An 850-point drop in the Dow before 2 p.m. (all times Eastern) will halt trading for one hour; for 30 minutes if between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and have no effect if at 2:30 p.m. or later.

— A 1,700-point drop in the Dow before 1 p.m. will halt trading for two hours; for one hour if between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; and for the remainder of the day if at 2 p.m. or later.

— A 2,550-point drop will halt trading for the remainder of the day regardless of when the decline occurs.

Circuit-breaker levels are set quarterly as 10-, 20- and 30-percent of the Dow's average closing values of the previous month, rounded to the nearest 50 points.

The percentage levels were introduced in April 1998 and are adjusted on the first trading day of each quarter. This year those dates are Jan. 2, April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1.

Changes were also announced for trading-collars, which restrict index-arbitrage trading. These will be triggered during first-quarter 2003 when the Dow moves 170 points or more above or below its closing value on the previous trading day and removed when the index is above or below the prior day's close by 80 points.

The revised collars are also calculated quarterly.

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