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For the SIP feeds, there is the CTA and the UTP plan and they cover Tapes A,B and Tape C respectively. Is there an easy way to check on google what tape a stock would belong to? Particularly when it comes to disambiguating A and B?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can pull a list of all stocks easily. See this question. You can get nasdaqlisted.txt and otherlisted.txt from here. nasdaqlisted.txt is clearly Tape C. otherlisted.txt contains an Exchange column which can be used to determine Tape A or B. If it is N it's listed at NYSE and therefore Tape A, otherwise it's Tape B.

Also, NYSE publishes a symbol list these days as well. FTP to ftp.nyxdata.com and look at the NYSESymbolMapping and ARCASymbolMapping directories.

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Thanks this is helpful. – Palace Chan Feb 20 '13 at 0:20

Tape A is NYSE-listed stocks. Tape C is NASDAQ-listed stocks. Tape B is the regionals, ie. everything else. Most of Tape B is on ARCA now days, though some of it is still on the NYSE MKT, formerly known as AMEX.

If you want to use Google Finance, just note that they prepend every symbol with the exchange its on. For example, if I search for "AAPL", Google will change this to "NASDAQ:AAPL" automatically, which means its on Tape C. Likewise, "SPY" becomes "NYSEARCA:SPY" (Tape B) and "BAC" becomes "NYSE:BAC" (Tape A).

A fun fact: most of ARCA's products are exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and most ETFs are listed on ARCA. So ETFs and Tape B have become synonymous. (A glaring exception is that QQQ is listed on NASDAQ.)

Also, up until a few years ago, all NYSE-listed symbols had three or fewer letters, while all NASDAQ-listed symbols had exactly four characters. This has changed recently and now all exchanges allow any symbology (to poach competitors' listings), but the trend is still pretty common.

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Thanks for all that info! I'm a bit confused when something like NYSEARCA is not NYSE-listed..or you say "Most of Tape B is on ARCA nowadays, though some of it is still on the NYSE MKT" - if it's on the NYSE MKT wouldn't it be Tape A? – Palace Chan Feb 21 '13 at 16:54
@PalaceChan ARCA isn't NYSE. It's owned by NYSE, and hence why it's called "NYSE ARCA". But it isn't NYSE. Likewise, "NYSE MKT" is not NYSE; it's the former AMEX and is merely owned by NYSE. Only NYSE proper is tape A. Anything that isn't NYSE or NASDAQ specifically is tape B, even if those exchanges are owned by NYSE. – chrisaycock Feb 21 '13 at 17:17

As far as I know, Tape A, if it's a NYSE proper stock, Tape C, if listed on NASDAQ, else Tape B (e.g. including those, which finance.google.com shows as NYSEARCA)

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