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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by NYSE Amex LLC Extending the Operation of the Pilot Program That Allows Nasdaq Stock Market Securities to be Traded on the Exchange Pursuant to a Grant of Unlisted Trading Privileges

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Start Preamble December 22, 2010.

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 December 20, 2010, NYSE Amex LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE Amex”) 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 amend NYSE Amex Equities Rule 500 to extend the operation of the pilot program that allows Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”) securities to be traded on the Exchange pursuant to a grant of unlisted trading privileges. The pilot is currently scheduled to expire on January 31, 2011; the Exchange proposes to extend it until the earlier of Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) approval to make such pilot permanent or August 1, 2011. The text of the proposed rule change is available at the principal office of the Exchange, on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov, at the Commission's Public Reference Room, and http://www.nyse.com.

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

1. Purpose

NYSE Amex Equities Rules 500-525, as a pilot program, govern the trading of any Nasdaq-listed security on the Exchange pursuant to unlisted trading privileges (“UTP Pilot Program”).[3] The Exchange hereby seeks to extend the operation of the UTP Pilot Program, currently scheduled to expire on January 31, 2011, until the earlier of Start Printed Page 82118Commission approval to make such pilot permanent or August 1, 2011.

The UTP Pilot Program includes any security listed on Nasdaq that (i) is designated as an “eligible security” under the Joint Self-Regulatory Organization Plan Governing the Collection, Consolidation and Dissemination of Quotation and Transaction Information for Nasdaq-Listed Securities Traded on Exchanges on an Unlisted Trading Privilege Basis, as amended (“UTP Plan”),[4] and (ii) has been admitted to dealings on the Exchange pursuant to a grant of unlisted trading privileges in accordance with Section 12(f) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”),[5] (collectively, “Nasdaq Securities”).[6]

The Exchange notes that its New Market Model Pilot (“NMM Pilot”), which, among other things, eliminated the function of specialists on the Exchange and created a new category of market participant, the Designated Market Maker (“DMM”),[7] is also scheduled to end on January 31, 2011.[8] The timing of the operation of the UTP Pilot Program was designed to correspond to that of the NMM Pilot. In approving the UTP Pilot Program, the Commission acknowledged that the rules relating to DMM benefits and duties in trading Nasdaq Securities on the Exchange pursuant to the UTP Pilot Program are consistent with the Act [9] and noted the similarity to the NMM Pilot, particularly with respect to DMM obligations and benefits.[10] Furthermore, the UTP Pilot Program rules pertaining to the assignment of securities to DMMs are substantially similar to the rules implemented through the NMM Pilot.[11] The Exchange has similarly filed to extend the operation of the NMM Pilot until the earlier of Commission approval to make the NMM Pilot permanent or August 1, 2011.[12]

Extension of the UTP Pilot Program in tandem with the NMM Pilot, both from January 31, 2011 until the earlier of Commission approval to make such pilots permanent or August 1, 2011, will provide for the uninterrupted trading of Nasdaq Securities on the Exchange on a UTP basis and thus continue to encourage the additional utilization of, and interaction with, the NYSE Amex Equities market, and provide market participants with improved price discovery, increased liquidity, more competitive quotes and greater price improvement for Nasdaq Securities.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange. In particular, the Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with (i) Section 6(b) of the Act,[13] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[14] 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; (ii) Section 11A(a)(1) of the Act,[15] in that it seeks to ensure the economically efficient execution of securities transactions and fair competition among brokers and dealers and among exchange markets; and (iii) Section 12(f) of the Act,[16] which governs the trading of securities pursuant to UTP consistent with the maintenance of fair and orderly markets, the protection of investors and the public interest, and the impact of extending the existing markets for such securities. Under the UTP Pilot Program Nasdaq Securities trade on the Exchange pursuant to rules governing the trading of Exchange-Listed securities that previously have been approved by the Commission. NYSE Amex made certain minor modifications to the operation of these rules, and added certain new rules, to accommodate the trading of Nasdaq Securities on a UTP basis; the Commission also approved all of these modifications and additions.

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

The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [17] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[18] Because the proposed rule change does not: (i) significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative prior to 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 [19] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[20]

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 Start Printed Page 82119change 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-NYSEAmex-2010-124. 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-NYSEAmex-2010-124 and should be submitted on or before January 19, 2011.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[21]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62479 (July 9, 2010), 75 FR 41264 (July 15, 2010) (SR-NYSEAmex-2010-31) (Notice of Filing of Amendment Nos. 2 and 3, and Order Granting Accelerated Approval to a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1, 2, and 3 Thereto, To Adopt as a Pilot Program a New Rule Series for the Trading of Securities Listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market Pursuant to Unlisted Trading Privileges). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62857 (September 7, 2010), 75 FR 55837 (September 14, 2010) (SR-NYSEAmex-2010-89) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Pilot Program That Allows Nasdaq Stock Market Securities To Be Traded on the Exchange Pursuant to UTP).

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 58863 (October 27, 2008), 73 FR 65417 (November 3, 2008) (Notice of filing and immediate effectiveness of Amendment No. 20 to the UTP Plan). The Exchange's predecessor, the American Stock Exchange LLC, joined the UTP Plan in 2001. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55647 (April 19, 2007), 72 FR 2091 (April 27, 2007) (S7-24-89). In March 2009, the Exchange changed its name to NYSE Amex LLC. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59575 (March 13, 2009), 74 FR 11803 (March 19, 2009) (SR-NYSEALTR-2009-24).

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6.  “Nasdaq Securities” is included within the definition of “security” as that term is used in the NYSE Amex Equities Rules. See NYSE Amex Equities Rule 3. In accordance with this definition, Nasdaq Securities are admitted to dealings on the Exchange on an “issued,” “when issued,” or “when distributed” basis. See NYSE Amex Equities Rule 501.

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7.  See NYSE Amex Equities Rule 103.

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8.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 60758 (October 1, 2009), 74 FR 51639 (October 7, 2009) (SR-NYSEAmex-2009-65). See also Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 61030 (November 19, 2009), 74 FR 62365 (November 27, 2009) (SR-NYSEAmex-2009-83); 61725 (March 17, 2010), 75 FR 14223 (March 24, 2010) (SR-NYSEAmex-2010-28); and 62820 (September 1, 2010), 75 FR 54935 (September 9, 2010) (SR-NYSEAmex-2010-86).

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10.  See supra note 1, at 41271.

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12.  See SR-NYSEAmex-2010-122.

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17.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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20.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's 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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[FR Doc. 2010-32734 Filed 12-28-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P