Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that, on November 21, 2008, NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. 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
The Exchange proposes to amend its rules to temporarily increase the number of additional Quarterly Options Series (“QOS”). The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://www.nyse.com, at the Exchange's principal office and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization 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 those 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 parts 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 temporarily increase the number of additional QOS in ETF options from sixty (60) to one hundred (100) that may be added by the Exchange. To effect this change, the Exchange is proposing to add new subparagraph (iv) to Rule 6.4 Commentary .08.
Because of the current, unprecedented market conditions, the Exchange has received requests from market participants to add lower priced strikes for QOS in the Energy Select Sector SPDR (“XLE”), the DIAMONDS Trust, Seri es 1 (“DIA”) and the Standard and Poor's Depositary Receipts/SPDRs (“SPY”). For example, for December 2008 expiration, there is demand for strikes (a) ranging from $20 up through and including $40 for XLE, (b) ranging from $60 up through and including $75 for DIA, and (c) ranging from $74 up through and including $85 for SPY. These strikes are much lower than those currently listed for which there is open interest.
However, under current Rule 6.4 and commentary thereto, the Exchange cannot honor these requests because the maximum number of additional series, sixty (60), has already been listed. The Exchange is therefore seeking to temporarily increase the number of additional QOS that may be added to one hundred (100). The increase of additional series would be permitted immediately for expiration months currently listed and for expiration months added throughout the last quarter of 2008, including the new expiration month added after December 2008 expiration.
The Exchange believes that this proposal is reasonable and will allow for more efficient risk management. The Exchange believes this proposal will facilitate the functioning of the Exchange's market and will not harm investors or the public interest. The Exchange believes that user demand and the recent downward price movements Start Printed Page 73372in the underlying ETFs warrants a temporary increase in the number of strikes for all QOS in ETF options. Currently, the Exchange list QOS in five ETF options: (1) Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock (“QQQQ”); (2) iShares Russell 2000Index Fund (“IWM”); (3) DIA; (4) SPY; and (5) XLE. The below chart provides the historical closing prices of these ETFs over the past couple of months:
The additional series will enable the Exchange to list in-demand, lower priced strikes.
The Exchange represents that it has the necessary systems capacity to support the new options series that will result from this proposal. Further, as proposed, the Exchange notes that these series would temporarily become part of the pilot program and will be considered by the Commission when the Exchange seeks to renew or make permanent the pilot program in the future. In addition, the Exchange states that in the event that current market volatility continues, it may seek to continue (through a rule filing) the time period during which the additional series proposed by this filing may be added.
2. Statutory Basis
Because the current rule proposal is responsive to the current, unprecedented market conditions, is limited in scope as to QOS in ETF options and as to time, and because the additional new series can be added without presenting capacity problems, the Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with section 6(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) in general, and furthers the objectives of 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 Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will 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
No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Because the foregoing rule does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; or (iii) become operative for 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  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.
The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the operative delay to permit the proposed rule change to become operative prior to the 30th day after filing. The Commission has determined that waiving the 30-day operative delay of the Exchange's proposal is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver will enable the Exchange to better meet customer demand in light of recent increased volatility in the marketplace. Therefore, the Commission designates the proposal operative upon filing.
At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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 No. SR-NYSEArca-2008-131 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEArca-2008-131. 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, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days Start Printed Page 73373between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 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-NYSEArca-2008-131 and should be submitted on or before December 23, 2008.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Jill M. Peterson,
1. 15 U.S.C.78s(b)(1).Back to Citation
6. 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires a self-regulatory organization to provide the Commission with written notice of its 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. NYSE Arca has met this requirement.Back to Citation
7. For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E8-28498 Filed 12-1-08; 8:45 am]
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