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NYSE to delay extending hours

NEW YORK -- After hearing concerns from big investment firms, the New York Stock Exchange said Thursday it would delay extension of its trading hours until at least the second half of 2000.

The decision comes a week after the NASDAQ stock market said an evening trading session could begin as soon as September. It raises the possibility that, for the first time in history, significant parts of the nation's leading financial markets will operate on vastly different schedules.In reaching separate plans, the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange are characterizing themselves as serving different customers: individual investors, who are said to want to trade after hours in NASDAQ stocks, and big institutions, which dominate the business of the Big Board.