Notice to Members 98-65

NASD Reminds Members of Obligations Relating to the Short-Sale Rule

In 1994, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD®) Rule 3350 (Short-Sale Rule) was adopted to stop market-destabilizing speculative short sales in Nasdaq National Market® (NNM) securities. To prevent this conduct, the Short-Sale Rule prohibits member firms from executing customer short sales and non-Market Maker proprietary short sales in an NNM security at or below the current inside bid when the current inside bid is lower than the previous inside bid.

It has come to the attention of NASD Regulation, Inc. (NASD RegulationSM) that certain NASD members may be assisting customers in the circumvention of this Rule. Specifically, these members are failing to net security positions of related accounts for customers who maintain accounts in their name and exercise control over a second related account, usually held in a family member’s name. The failure to net these positions has permitted these customers, which operate the two accounts with a single investment strategy, to avoid application of the Short-Sale Rule.