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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Clarify Quote Management Procedures

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Start Preamble December 9, 2010.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 [2] thereunder, notice is hereby given that on December 6, 2010, NASDAQ OMX BX (“BX” or “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 Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as constituting a non-controversial rule change under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act,[3] which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. 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 is filing with the Commission a proposed rule change to clarify quote management procedures.

The text of the proposed rule change is below. Proposed new language is in italics and proposed deletions are in brackets.[4]

* * * * *

4613. Market Maker Obligations

A member registered as an Equities Market Maker shall engage in a course of dealings for its own account to assist in the maintenance, insofar as reasonably practicable, of fair and orderly markets in accordance with this Rule.

(a) Quotation Requirements and Obligations

(1) No Change.

(2) Pricing Obligations. For NMS stocks (as defined in Rule 600 under Regulation NMS) an Equities Market Maker shall adhere to the pricing obligations established by this Rule during Regular Market Hours.

(A)-(E) No Change.

(F) [Quotation Creation and Adjustment. For each Issue in which an Equities Market Maker is registered, the System shall automatically create a quotation for display to comply with this Rule. System-created compliant displayed quotations will thereafter be allowed to rest and not be further adjusted by the System unless the relationship between the quotation and its related National Best Bid or National Best Offer, as appropriate, shrinks to the greater of: (a) 4 percentage points, or (b) one-quarter the applicable percentage necessary to trigger an individual stock trading pause as described in NASDAQ OMX BX Rule 4120(a)(11), or expands to within that same percentage less 0.5%, whereupon the System will immediately re-adjust and display the Equities Market Maker's quote to the appropriate Designated Percentage set forth in section (D) above. As the System allows for multiple attributable quotations by a Equities Market Maker in an issue, quotations originally entered by Equities Market Makers shall be allowed to move freely towards or away from the National Best Bid or National Best Offer, as appropriate, for potential execution.] Reserved.

(G) [Quotation Refresh After Execution. In the event of an execution against a System-created compliant quotation, the Equities Market Maker shall have its quote refreshed by the System on the executed side of the market at the applicable Designated Percentage away from the then National Best Bid (Offer) (or if no National Best Bid (Offer), the last reported sale).] Reserved.

(H)-(K) No Change.

(b)-(e) No Change.

* * * * *

4752. Opening Process; Opening and Closing Price

(a) Trading Prior To Normal Market Hours. The system shall process all eligible Quotes/Orders at 8 a.m.:

(1) At 8 a.m., the system shall add in time priority all eligible Orders in accordance with each order's defined characteristics.

(2) Quoting Market Participants must enter quotations in compliance with Rule 4613 at 9:25 a.m. until market open, and at all times thereafter during Regular Market Hours. [may instruct the Exchange to open their Quotes at 9:25 a.m. at price of $0.01 (bid) and $999,999 (offer) and a size of one round lot in order to provide a two-sided quotation. In all other cases, the quote of a participant shall be at the price and size entered by the participant]

(3) No Change.

(b) No Change.

* * * * *

(b) Not applicable.

(c) Not applicable.

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 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 Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

Recently, the Exchange adopted rules enhancing market maker quotation obligations. In connection with the implementation with these new standards, the Exchange proposes to clarify quote management procedures. Under the proposal, market makers themselves will be responsible for maintaining quotations at prices that comply with the new minimum standards set forth in Rule 4613. The Exchange will provide no automated system to create or adjust market maker quotes to ensure compliance, and the responsibility to maintain required quote prices will be responsibility of the market maker. In addition, the Exchange is removing and updating language from Rule 4752 to make explicit the requirement to comply with minimum quote prices.

The Exchange believes that the proposal will enhance compliance with the new market maker quotation standards.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Start Printed Page 78313the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,[5] in general, and with Sections 6(b)(5) of the Act,[6] in particular, in that the proposal is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, 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 Exchange believes that the proposed rule meets these requirements in that it enhances compliance with the new market maker quotation standards.

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.

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

Written comments on the proposed rule change 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 does not: (1) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) 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, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [7] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[8]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally may not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of filing.[9] However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [10] permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay.

The Commission has considered the Exchange's request to waive the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, as it will enable the Exchange to implement the proposed change consistent with the implementation date for the new market maker pricing obligations.[11] Therefore, the Commission designates the proposed rule change to be operative upon filing.

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

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-BX-2010-087. 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 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 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of the 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-BX-2010-087 and should be submitted on or before January 5, 2011.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[12]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

4.  Changes are marked to the rule text that appears in the electronic manual of NASDAQ found at http://nasdaqomx.cchwallstreet.com.

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8.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). When filing a proposed rule change pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act, an exchange is required to give the Commission 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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11.  For the purposes only of waiving the operative date of this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 2010-31474 Filed 12-14-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P