Nasdaq reports 90% earnings slump

Nasdaq reports 90% earnings slump

The Nasdaq stock market is reporting a 90% slump in first quarter earnings from a year ago, caused by depressed market conditions and defection of trading to alternative electronic communications networks.

The number two US stock exchange is reporting a drop-off in first quarter earnings to $1.9 million from $21.3 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 21.5 percent in the quarter to $165.9 million.

In a statement, Nasdaq says: "Increased competition and shifts in market composition continued to place pressure on revenue during the first quarter of 2003 as firms executed transactions and reported trades in Nasdaq-listed securities outside of Nasdaq's systems to other exchanges and facilities."

Average daily share volume fell nearly 20% to 1.46 billion shares a day from 1.82 billion shares in Q1 2002, and the number of listed companies on the exchange dropped to 3536 - the lowest level for 20 years.

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