first of all the NY specialist is NOT out to get you. don't forget when there is a move in a stock you a probably the last in line behind people in the crowd. it isn't the specialist just trying to screw you and your order. its the guy in the crowd with 500k to buy that screws you when he gets in ahead of you. they move the markets not the specialist. reading the quote is not as helpful a tool anymore because of the move to decimals. too many 1x1 quotes nowadays. reading the prints on the tape however continues to be a good tool. you can hide size on the quotes but not on the tape.