Executions in equities will sometimes be listed as R6, which is short for Rule 611 of SEC Regulation NMS. This condition code indicates that the execution(s) in question is not subject to trade-through rules. R6 trades are given an SEC exemption.
Rule 611, which is the Trade Through Exemption of SEC Regulation NMS, is very lengthy to cover in detail. Parties interested in reading the rule in its entirely should type "SEC Rule 611" into an internet search engine. This is the portion of the document that is pertinent to IB traders, in a nutshell:
Typically the trades involved are a multi-component trade involving orders for a security and a related derivative, or, in the alternative, orders for related securities, that are executed at or near the same time. The SIA (Securities Industry Association) notes that the economics of a contingent trade are based on the relationship between the prices of the security and the related derivative or security, and that the execution of one order is contingent upon the execution of the other order.
The bottom line is that when a trade is ruled R6 the SEC has granted a trade-through exemption. This means that these execution reports do not affect the resting orders in-between the market at the time, and the R6 execution. For example, the real market is quoting 10.50 at 10.51, and an execution is reported at 10.90. This execution was given an R6 exemption. A sell limit order at 10.75, an an example, would not be executed because the 10.90 execution was given an R6 status.