Understanding NYSE CTA Tapes A, B, and C

By Intrinio
June 12, 2023

When it comes to the financial markets, staying informed and having access to real-time data is crucial for making informed decisions. In the United States, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is one of the leading stock exchanges, and it provides various data feeds to enable market participants to stay updated. 

One of these data feeds is the NYSE CTA (Consolidated Tape Association) feed, which is divided into three tapes: A, B, and C. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of NYSE CTA and explore the intricacies of each tape, as well as where to access them.

What is NYSE CTA?

The NYSE CTA is a system that consolidates and disseminates real-time trade and quote data from the NYSE and other regional exchanges. It provides a comprehensive view of trading activity and helps market participants access reliable and up-to-date information. The CTA feed is widely used by traders, brokers, and other financial professionals to monitor market trends, execute trades, and analyze the overall market sentiment.

The NYSE CTA is one of two SIPs or Security Information Processors in the United States. 

How the CTA feed works

The CTA feed operates on a consolidated basis, meaning that it brings together data from multiple exchanges into a single stream. This consolidation ensures that market participants have a unified view of trading activity across various venues. By aggregating the data from different sources, the CTA feed eliminates the need to monitor multiple exchanges individually, saving time and effort for users.

CTA Tape A

CTA Tape A is the primary tape of the NYSE CTA feed and contains crucial trade and quote data for securities listed on the NYSE and other regional exchanges. It includes information such as the last sale price, volume, high and low prices, and the time of the last trade. Tape A is vital for traders who need real-time data to make quick trading decisions. It provides a comprehensive overview of market activity and is widely used for price discovery and analysis.

CTA Tape B

CTA Tape B complements Tape A by providing additional depth-of-book data, including the bid and ask prices, sizes, and other order book information. This tape is particularly useful for traders who require more detailed insights into the supply and demand dynamics of a particular security. With Tape B, traders can analyze the liquidity and trading interest at different price levels, enabling them to make more informed trading decisions.

CTA Tape C

NYSE Tape C specifically covers regional and other exchange-listed securities, such as those listed on the NYSE Arca, NYSE American, and NYSE National exchanges. It includes stocks, exchange-traded products (ETPs), closed-end funds, and structured products. Tape C provides real-time trade and quote data for these securities and is widely used by market participants, traders, and investors to stay updated on price and trading activity.

Sometimes this is also referred to as “UTP”. Unlisted Trading Privileges (UTP) is a regulatory framework that allows certain exchanges to trade and quote securities listed on other exchanges. It enables regional exchanges to trade securities listed on national exchanges, such as the NYSE and Nasdaq, without requiring them to list those securities individually.

Where to access CTA feeds

To access the NYSE CTA feeds, market participants can subscribe to data vendors or market data providers that offer access to real-time market data. These providers typically offer data feeds that include the NYSE CTA tapes, along with other market data from different exchanges and asset classes.

Additionally, many trading platforms and brokerage firms also provide access to the CTA feeds as part of their trading services. Traders can leverage these platforms to access real-time market data and execute trades based on the information provided by the CTA tapes.

Intrinio offers access to CTA Tape A, CTA Tape B and UTP (CTA Tape C) through our Silver Stock Prices Package. Through this data feed, you get access to delayed SIP data with coverage of all of the CTA network data. If you are interested in taking a free trial of this data feed, you can chat our team live on our website or request a consultation with one of our data experts. If you want access to CTA network data in real-time, Intrinio can set you up with access through one of our trusted partners.

Understanding the NYSE CTA tapes A, B, and C is essential for anyone involved in the financial markets. These tapes provide valuable insights into market activity, enabling traders and investors to make informed decisions. Whether you are a day trader looking for real-time trade and quote data or an options trader monitoring options market activity, the NYSE CTA feeds offer a comprehensive view of the markets. 

By accessing these feeds through a reliable data vendor like Intrinio, you can rely on quality data, a sound integration, up-time, documentation, support, and so much more. Choosing the right data partner is a critical step in your success, so make sure to check out this blog on how Intrinio stacks up against other financial data providers - we would love to work with you!

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