It’s been a good week for the New York Stock Exchange. It moved on to the second phase of its reopening, with a handful of market makers rejoining the handful of floor traders who’ve been pacing the iconic space at a safe distance from one another for three weeks now. Those market makers will be allowed to take the subway to work, as well. And even the bad news comes with a silver lining: Sure, the Nasdaq has been crowned the coronavirus IPO king, but the Big Board is confident that once all this settles down, people will come back to daddy.

And it’s getting better: A court has said that the Securities and Exchange Commission can’t force the NYSE to run a very expensive experiment that could prove even more devastatingly expensive in the long run if it should find what everyone expects it would, which is that the rebates exchanges pay to brokers who send them lots of orders are perhaps not in the best interests of customers, and the NYSE’s very own U.S. senator had another cloud lifted from her sputtering reelection bid.

“The Pilot Program emanates from an aimless ‘one-off’ regulation, i.e., a rule that imposes significant, costly, and disparate regulatory requirements on affected parties merely to allow the Commission to collect data to determine whether there might be a problem worthy of regulation,” the court said.

The pilot program, which was recommended by an SEC-appointed committee of market experts as well as the U.S. Treasury, would have tested banning rebates for certain stocks and lowering exchange transaction fees for others.

“Based on all the information before it, the Committee did not find evidence that your actions violated federal law, Senate Rules or standards of conduct,” Mayer said. “Accordingly, consistent with its precedent, the Committee has dismissed the matter.”

It’s a welcome development for Loeffler, though significant political damage has already been done as she seeks to stay in the Senate past November.

Appeals court sides with exchanges in U.S. SEC fee row [Reuters]
Senate Ethics Committee drops probe of Loeffler stock traders [Politico]
NYSE to reopen trading floor to some market makers on Wednesday [Fox Business]
New York Stock Exchange allows employees to return to public transit [N.Y. Daily News]
NYSE President Says Second Half of Year Looks Strong for IPOs [Reuters via NYT]

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