STANDARD & POOR'S AND AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE LAUNCH PILOT PROGRAM TO PROVIDE CLOSING PRICES FOR 12 NASDAQ STOCKS NEW YORK, October 8, 2003 - The American Stock Exchange* (Amex*) announced today that it will be participating in a pilot program with Standard & Poor's to provide standardized auction market closing prices for Nasdaq securities in the S&P 500 Index, the most widely used benchmark to track U.S. stock market performance. The Amex, which has been trading Nasdaq stocks on the exchange floor for over a year, will provide a single closing price for 12 well-known Nasdaq stocks. If successful, the pilot program, which will begin Monday, December 1, 2003 and run until early 2004, could be expanded by Standard & Poor's to include changes in index pricing procedures for closing prices for all Nasdaq securities in the S&P 500 Index. Salvatore F. Sodano, Amex chairman and CEO, said, "We are extremely pleased that Standard & Poor's has selected our market as their first alternative for pricing procedures for Nasdaq-listed stocks. We are confident that the adoption of Amex prices will bring more transparency to the marketplace and provide all investors with an efficient and inexpensive way to get official opening and closing prices." Brett Redfearn, senior vice president of Amex Business Strategy, said, "We have been discussing this initiative with index traders and the investment community for months and believe that this is a significant response to widespread concerns in the marketplace. We already open and close S&P 500 stocks every day and are fully prepared to do the same for Nasdaq stocks." Standard & Poor's and Amex initiated the pilot program in response to the investment community's demands for more efficiency and reliability in pricing procedures for Nasdaq securities. Because the Nasdaq stock market does not have an auction closing process that brings together buyers and sellers in the marketplace for one closing price, this can present challenges for investors and traders to get a closing trade at the official closing price. On the Amex, specialists on the Exchange guarantee opening and closing prices to all market participants who send in "On Open" and "Market On Close" orders under the exchange's rules.