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Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Pilot Period of the Trading Pause for Individual Stocks Contained in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, Russell 1000 Index, and Specified Exchange Traded Products That Experience a Price Change of 10% or More During a Five-Minute Period

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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 7, 2010, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” 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 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 extend the pilot period of the trading pause for individual stocks contained in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, Russell 1000 Index, and specified Exchange Traded Products that experience a price change of 10% or more during a five-minute period, so that the pilot will now expire on April 11, 2011.

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

* * * * *

4120. Trading Halts

(a) Authority To Initiate Trading Halts or Pauses

In circumstances in which Nasdaq deems it necessary to protect investors and the public interest, Nasdaq, pursuant to the procedures set forth in paragraph (c):

(1)-(10) No change.

(11) shall, between 9:45 a.m. and 3:35 p.m., or in the case of an early scheduled close, 25 minutes before the close of trading, immediately pause trading for 5 minutes in any Nasdaq-listed security when the price of such security moves 10 percent or more within a 5-minute period. At the end of the trading pause, Nasdaq will re-open the security using the Halt Cross process set forth in Nasdaq Rule 4753. In the event of a significant imbalance at the end of a trading pause, Nasdaq may delay the re-opening of a security.

Nasdaq will issue a notification if it cannot resume trading for a reason other than a significant imbalance.

Price moves under this paragraph will be calculated by changes in each consolidated last-sale price disseminated by a network processor over a five-minute rolling period measured continuously. Only regular way in-sequence transactions qualify for use in calculations of price moves. Nasdaq can exclude a transaction price from use if it concludes that the transaction price resulted from an erroneous trade.

If a trading pause is triggered under this paragraph, Nasdaq shall immediately notify the single plan processor responsible for consolidation of information for the security pursuant to Rule 603 of Regulation NMS under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. If a primary listing market issues an individual stock trading pause, Nasdaq will pause trading in that security until trading has resumed on the primary Start Printed Page 78303listing market or notice has been received from the primary listing market that trading may resume. If the primary listing market does not reopen within 10 minutes of notification of a trading pause, Nasdaq may resume trading the security.

The provisions of this paragraph shall only apply to securities in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, the Russell 1000 Index, as well as a pilot list of Exchange Traded Products.

The provisions of this paragraph shall be in effect during a pilot set to end on April 11, 2011 [December 10, 2010].

* * * * *

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

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., NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., International Securities Exchange LLC, New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE Amex LLC, NYSE Arca, Inc., 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]

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 four-month extension of the pilot is warranted so that it may continue to assess whether additional securities need to be added and whether the parameters of the rule need to be modified to accommodate trading characteristics of different securities. Accordingly, the Exchange is filing to seek a four-month extension of the existing pilot.

2. Statutory Basis

The statutory basis for the proposed rule change is Section 6(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),[6] 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) [7] 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.

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

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 [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[9]

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.[10] However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [11] 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 allow the pilot program to continue uninterrupted, thereby avoiding the investor confusion that could result from a temporary interruption in the pilot program.[12] 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 Start Printed Page 78304it 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. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

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-2010-162. 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 (​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-NASDAQ-2010-162 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.[13]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


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

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4.  The term “Listing Markets” refers collectively to NYSE, NYSE Amex, NYSE Arca, and NASDAQ.

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

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9.  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 Commission notes that the Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

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10.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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12.  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. 2010-31483 Filed 12-14-10; 8:45 am]