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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Pilot Period of the Trading Pause for NMS Stocks Other Than Rights and Warrants

 

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August 2, 2012.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, [2] notice is hereby given that on July 19, 2012, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (“Exchange”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change Back to Top

The Exchange proposes to extend the pilot period of the trading pause for individual NMS stocks other than rights and warrants, so that the pilot will now expire on February 4, 2013.

The text of the proposed rule change is below. Proposed new language is in italics; proposed deletions are in brackets.

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IM-4120-3. Circuit Breaker Securities Pilot Back to Top

The provisions of paragraph (a)(11) of this Rule shall be in effect during a pilot set to end on February 4, 2013[July 31, 2012]. During the pilot, the term “Circuit Breaker Securities” shall mean all NMS stocks except rights and warrants.

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II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change Back to Top

In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

On June 10, 2010, the Commission granted accelerated approval for a pilot period to end December 10, 2010, for a proposed rule change submitted by the Exchange, together with related rule changes of the BATS Exchange, Inc., Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., International Securities Exchange LLC, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”), New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”), NYSE MKT LLC (“NYSE MKT”) (formerly, NYSE Amex LLC), NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”), and National Stock Exchange, Inc. (collectively, the “Exchanges”), to pause trading during periods of extraordinary market volatility in S&P 500 stocks. [3] The rules require the Listing Markets [4] to issue five-minute trading pauses for individual securities for which they are the primary Listing Market if the transaction price of the security moves ten percent or more from a price in the preceding five-minute period. The Listing Markets are required to notify the other Exchanges and market participants of the imposition of a trading pause by immediately disseminating a special indicator over the consolidated tape. Under the rules, once the Listing Market issues a trading pause, the other Exchanges are required to pause trading in the security on their markets. On September 10, 2010, the Commission approved the respective rule filings of the Exchanges to expand application of the pilot to the Russell 1000® Index and specified Exchange Traded Products. [5] On December 7, 2010, the Exchange filed an immediately effective filing to extend the existing pilot program for four months, so that the pilot would expire on April 11, 2011. [6] On March 31, 2011, the Exchange filed an immediately effective filing to extend the pilot period an additional four months, so that the pilot would expire on August 11, 2011 or the date on which a limit up/limit down mechanism to address extraordinary market volatility, if adopted, applies. [7] On June 23, 2011, the Commission approved the expansion of the pilot to all NMS stocks, but with different pause-triggering thresholds. [8] On August 8, 2011, the Exchange filed an immediately effective filing that removed language from the rule that tied the expiration of the pilot to the adoption of a limit up/limit down mechanism to address extraordinary market volatility, and further extended the pilot period, so that the pilot would expire on January 31, 2012. [9] On November 18, 2011, the Exchange filed an immediately effective filing that excluded rights and warrants from the pilot. [10] On January 23, 2012, the Commission approved an extension of the pilot to July 31, 2012. [11]

On May 31, 2012, the Commission approved, on a pilot basis, the National Market System Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility. [12] This plan creates a market-wide limit up-limit down mechanism that is intended to address extraordinary market volatility in NMS Stocks, which will be implemented on February 4, 2013. Once implemented, the limit up/limit down mechanism to address extraordinary market volatility will render the current stock trading pause pilot duplicative and unnecessary. Accordingly, the Exchange is proposing to extend the single stock trading pause pilot so that it will now expire on February 4, 2013, when the limit up/limit down mechanism to address extraordinary market volatility is to be implemented.

The Exchange believes that the pilot program has been successful in reducing the negative impacts of sudden, unanticipated price movements in the securities covered by the pilot. The Exchange also believes that an additional extension of the pilot is warranted so that it may continue to apply the circuit breaker to reduce the negative impacts of sudden, unanticipated price movements until it is replaced by the limit up/limit down mechanism.

2. Statutory Basis

The statutory basis for the proposed rule change is Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, [13] which requires the rules of an exchange to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The proposed rule change also is designed to support the principles of Section 11A(a)(1) [14] of the Act in that it seeks to assure fair competition among brokers and dealers and among exchange markets. The Exchange believes that the proposed rule meets these requirements in that it promotes transparency and uniformity across markets concerning decisions to pause trading in a security when there are significant price movements. In addition, the Exchange believes extending the pilot to February 4, 2013 is consistent with the requirement to protect investors because it will permit the circuit breaker to continue to reduce the negative impacts of sudden, unanticipated price movements until it is replaced by the preferred limit up/limit down mechanism.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action Back to Top

The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [15] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder. [16] Because the proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative prior to 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [17] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder. [18]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [19] normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [20] the Commission may designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing.

The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, as it will allow the pilot program to continue uninterrupted, thereby avoiding the investor confusion that could result from a temporary interruption in the pilot program. For this reason, the Commission designates the proposed rule change to be operative upon filing. [21]

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

IV. Solicitation of Comments Back to Top

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File No. SR-BX-2012-055. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-BX-2012-055 and should be submitted on or before August 29, 2012.

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority. [22]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2012-19353 Filed 8-7-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P

Footnotes Back to Top

3. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62252 (June 10, 2010), 75 FR 34186 (June 16, 2010) (SR-BX-2010-037).

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4. The term “Listing Markets” refers collectively to NYSE, NYSE MKT, NYSE Arca, and the Exchange.

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5. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62884 (September 10, 2010), 75 FR 56618 (September 16, 2010) (SR-BX-2010-044).

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6. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 63527 (December 10, 2010), 75 FR 78781 (December 16, 2010) (SR-BX-2010-088).

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7. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 64176 (April 4, 2011), 76 FR 19821 (April 8, 2011) (SR-BX-2011-018).

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8. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 64735 (June 23, 2011), 76 FR 38243 (June 29, 2011) (SR-BX-2011-025, et al.).

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9. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 65093 (August 10, 2011), 76 FR 50781 (August 16, 2011) (SR-BX-2011-055).

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10. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 65815 (November 23, 2011), 76 FR 74109 (November 30, 2011) (SR-BX-2011-079).

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11. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 66215 (January 23, 2012), 77 FR 4387 (January 27, 2012) (SR-BX-2012-003).

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12. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67091 (May 31, 2012), 77 FR 33498 (June 6, 2012).

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15. 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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18. 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's intent to file the proposed rule change along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

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20. 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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21. For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also considered the proposed rule's impact onefficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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