So-called high-frequency traders are taking advantage of direct news feeds from Business Wire and Marketwired to gain an advantage on "less fleet-footed investors," according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The trades take advantage of a lag in time from when the newswires distribute the information and when media sends the same information out to the public.

The SEC's Regulation FD was written before the advent of such tactics and the Journal notes that it doesn't address "whether fractions of a second matter in terms of when information is distributed."

PR Newswire doesn't provide trading firms access to its disclosure feed, although the company said it receives frequent requests.

Business Wire senior VP Tom Becktold told the Journal "anyone" can get a direct data feed, while senior VP and PR chief Neil Hershberg said what users do with the feed is "beyond our control."

[Added 2/11/13: BW responded today with a blog post on the article.]

But trader Joseph Spano said subscribing to BW is advantageous because releases are pushed to his firm computers faster than they could be retrieved from a company website. 

Read the full report at