Some Apple investors believe this might explain a lot of the strange behavior they've observed in Apple since 2007 -- when the launch of the iPhone coincided with the promulgation of the SEC's Regulation NMS, which created the national electronic market system that high-frequency traders exploit. Apple's share price has moved both ways -- to extraordinary highs and confidence-shattering lows -- at volumes much lower than theory would predict. Invisible odd lot trades could explain the discrepancy.
How will the new reporting regime affect the average Apple investor?
"Several things will happen," says Nanex's Hunsader, a critic of high-frequency trading. "First, games that used to rely on that asymmetric information will no longer work. That in itself is good, with no effort on the part of the investor. Second, it will allow retail applications to better detect the supply/demand picture, etc. By knowing where these odd-lot trades are executing for example."
"Asymmetric information is always bad for the market," Hunsader concludes, "because it drives away some participants from the market. The most resilient market is one with the widest diversity of participants."