Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on December 2, 2004, the International Securities Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange” or “ISE”) 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. On December 6, 2004, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change, and on December 9, 2004, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change. The Exchange filed the proposed rule change, as amended, as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
ISE proposes to codify its existing policy relating to hours of trading for options on certain Fund Shares, including the Nasdaq 100 Tracking Stock (“QQQ”). The text of the proposed rule change, as amended, is set forth below.Start Printed Page 75577
Proposed new language is in italics. Proposed deletions are in brackets.
Rule 700. Days and Hours of Business
The Board shall determine the days the Exchange shall be open for business (referred to as “business days”) and the hours of such days during which transactions may be made on the Exchange. No Member shall make any bid, offer, or transaction on the Exchange before or after such hours.
(a) -Except for unusual conditions as may be determined by the Board, hours during which transactions in options on individual stocks may be made on the Exchange shall correspond to the normal business days and hours for business set forth in the rules of the primary market trading the stocks underlying Exchange options; provided, however, that transactions may be effected in an options class on the Exchange until two (2) minutes after the primary market on which the underlying stock trades closes for trading.
(b) Options on Fund Shares, as defined in Rule 502(h), may be traded on the Exchange until 4:15 p.m. each business day.
[(b)](c) The Exchange shall not be open for business on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. When any holiday observed by the Exchange falls on a Saturday, the Exchange will not be open for business on the preceding Friday. When any holiday observed by the Exchange falls on a Sunday, the Exchange will not be open for business on the following Monday, unless unusual business conditions exist at the time.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, ISE included statements concerning the purpose of, and statutory 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. ISE 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 Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The purpose of this proposed rule change is to amend ISE Rule 700 (“Days and Hours of Business”) by adding a new subsection (b) that will codify ISE's practice of trading options on certain Fund Shares, including the QQQ, until 4:15 p.m. (New York Time). The 4:15 p.m. termination coincides with the trading hours termination time for options on stock indexes. Recently, the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (“Nasdaq”) announced its intention to transfer the listing of the QQQ from the American Stock Exchange (“Amex”) to Nasdaq, effective as of the opening of trading on December 1, 2004. QQQ previously traded on the Amex until 4:15 p.m., but as of December 1, 2004, Nasdaq closes trading in the QQQ at 4 p.m., but will allow trading in the QQQ to continue in after hours trading until 8 p.m. ISE intends to continue to trade options on the QQQ during its regular trading session until 4:15 p.m., as it does options on certain other Fund Shares and indexes.
ISE notes that Amex and the Pacific Exchange, Inc. (“PCX”) trade options on QQQ until 4:15 p.m. (New York Time) under their respective rules. The new proposed subsection (b) to ISE Rule 700 will codify ISE's longstanding practice of trading options on QQQ and certain Fund Shares until 4:15 p.m. The ISE submits that this rule change will serve to avoid any confusion in the marketplace over the trading hours of QQQ options in light of Nasdaq's shift of the listing venue of QQQ and to codify the trading hours for options on certain Fund Shares and on QQQ.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act, in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, 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.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The proposed rule change does not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others
The Exchange has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received any unsolicited written comments from members or other interested parties.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change, as amended, as a “non-controversial” rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act  and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder. The Exchange represents that the foregoing rule change: (1) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) by its terms, does not become operative for 30 days after the date of this filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the five-day pre-filing notice requirement and the 30-day operative delay period for “non-controversial” proposals and make the proposed rule change, as amended, effective and operative upon filing.
The Commission has determined to waive the five-day pre-filing notice requirement and the 30-day operative delay period. The Commission notes that accelerating the operative date will allow the trading hours for options on the QQQ to remain unchanged and provide continuity to the marketplace. Therefore, the foregoing proposed rule change has become immediately effective and operative upon filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.Start Printed Page 75578
At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate 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
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:
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com. Please include File Number SR-ISE-2004-39 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549-0609.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2004-39. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail 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 inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. 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 Number SR-ISE-2004-39 and should be submitted on or before January 7, 2005.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
3. The substance of Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 is incorporated into this notice.Back to Citation
6. See Commentary .02 to Amex Rule 1 and Commentary .02 to PCX Rule 7.1.Back to Citation
11. For purposes only of accelerating the operative date of this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
14. For purposes of calculating the 60-day period within which the Commission may summarily abrogate the proposed rule change under Section 19(b)(3)(C) of the Act, the Commission considers that period to commence on December 9, 2004, the date the Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change. See 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(C).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E4-3702 Filed 12-16-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P