Securities and Exchange Commission

said Friday that it will push back from March 13 to April 14, the date by which the securities industry must submit its plan to phase in decimal stock prices from fractions.

The commission's announcement comes days after the

National Association of Securities Dealers

, the parent organization of the

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stock market,

asked the SEC to delay the move to pricing stocks in decimals until next year.

The NASD is arguing that shifting to decimalization this year would expose investors to unacceptable risk because the NASD is already coping with increased pressure on its systems capacity. The SEC refused to go that far right now. "At this point, the Commission has not extended the July 3, 2000, date for implementing decimal prices," the SEC said.

"The Commission continues to discuss with the self-regulatory organizations a viable decimal pricing implementation date, and, more generally, how to implement decimals in a way and in a timeframe that does not disrupt investor confidence," the SEC said. It added that it is still committed to "implementing decimal pricing in a timely and orderly manner."