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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Extension of the Penny Pilot Program

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Start Preamble July 1, 2009.

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 June 25, 2009, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by Nasdaq. 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

NASDAQ is filing a proposal for the NASDAQ Options Market (“NOM” or “Exchange”) to amend Chapter VI, Section 5 to extend until October 31, 2009, a pilot program to quote and to trade certain options in pennies.

The text of the proposed rule change is available on Nasdaq's Web site at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com, at Nasdaq'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, Nasdaq 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. Nasdaq 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

1. Purpose

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the Exchange's pilot program in Chapter VI, Section 5 that allows quoting and trading certain options in penny increments (the “Penny Pilot Program” or “Pilot”).

Pursuant to the Exchange's Penny Pilot Program that has been operational since 2008, as many as sixty-three options are quoted in increments of $0.01.[3] The purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the Pilot through October 31, 2009.

Prior to the Penny Pilot Program, options were being quoted in nickel and dime increments. For options that are not in the Pilot, the minimum price variation for quotations in options series that are priced (trading) at less than $3 per contract is $0.05 and the minimum price variation for quotations in options series that are priced at $3 per contract or greater is $0.10.

Under the Penny Pilot Program, market participants are able to quote in penny increments in certain series of option classes. The minimum price variation for all classes included in the Pilot, except for the QQQQs, is $0.01 for option series that are priced at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for series that are priced at $3 per contract or greater. The QQQQs are quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series.

During the extended Penny Pilot Program, the Exchange will submit a report addressing the impact of the Pilot on the quality of the Exchange's markets and option quote traffic and capacity by August 31, 2009, covering the period from May 1, 2009, through July 31, 2009.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [4] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [5] in particular, in that it is designed 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, by extending the Penny Pilot Program to the benefit of market participants and the public.

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

Nasdaq 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.

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

Because the foregoing proposed 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 proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) [6] of the Act and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[7]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [8] normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [9] permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange requests that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Exchange states that the proposed rule change is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest in that it would provide the ability to continue trading products on the Exchange that are traded or available on other option exchanges.

The Commission believes waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver will allow the Penny Pilot Program to continue without interruption through October 31, 2009.[10] Accordingly, the Commission designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing with the Commission.

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:

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 Number SR-NASDAQ-2009-061. 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 between 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-NASDAQ-2009-061 and should be submitted on or before July 30, 2009.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Elizabeth M. Murphy,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57579 (March 28, 2008), 73 FR 18587 (April 4, 2008) (SR-NASDAQ-2008-026) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness). The Pilot was subsequently extended through July 3, 2009. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59632 (March 26, 2009), 74 FR 14829 (April 1, 2009) (SR-NASDAQ-2009-030) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness).

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7.  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. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

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9.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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10.  For the 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. 78(c)(f).

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[FR Doc. E9-16180 Filed 7-8-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P