March 23, 2012.
Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),
and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,
notice is hereby given that on March 19, 2012, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III 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
NASDAQ is proposing to amend Rule 4120 to adopt a modification in the process for initiating trading of a security that is the subject of an initial public offering (an “IPO”) on NASDAQ. The text of the proposed rule change is available at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com/, at the Exchange's principal office, on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/, 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 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
NASDAQ is proposing to make a minor modification to its process for commencing trading of a security that is the subject of an IPO on NASDAQ. Rule 4120(a)(7) provides that trading in an IPO security is halted until the security is released for trading. Rule 4120(c)(7)(B) establishes the process for lifting the halt and commencing trading. Under that rule, prior to terminating the halt, there is a 15-minute Display-Only Period during which market participants may enter quotes and orders into the NASDAQ Market Center. At the conclusion of the Display-Only Period, trading commences through the halt cross process provided for in Rule 4753. However, if at the end of a Display-Only Period, NASDAQ detects an order imbalance in the security, the halt may be extended for up to six additional Display-Only Periods of five minutes each.
Under the current process, quotes and orders in the IPO security may not be entered until the commencement of the Display-Only Period. However, NASDAQ believes that the quality of its process for commencing IPO trading would be enhanced by allowing market participants to begin entering orders at 7 a.m., to be held and not displayed until the beginning of the Display-Only Period. Specifically, NASDAQ believes that this change will provide for a greater number of orders being entered prior to commencement of trading, resulting in a higher level of order interaction at the open.
To effect this change, NASDAQ proposes amending Rule 4120(c)(7)(B) to provide that beginning at 7 a.m., market participants may enter Market Hours Day Orders (“MDAY Orders”) in a security that is the subject of an IPO on NASDAQ and designate such orders to be held until the beginning of the Display-Only Period. Such orders will be held in an undisplayed state until the beginning of the Display-Only Period, at which time they will be entered into the system. Market participants may cancel orders entered in this manner in the same way they would cancel any other order. Orders entered prior to the Display-Only Period will be cancelled Start Printed Page 19045back to the entering participant unless they are designated for holding.
2. Statutory Basis
NASDAQ believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,
in general, and with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,
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. Specifically, NASDAQ believes that the proposed rule change will result in a greater number of orders being entered prior to commencement of trading of IPO securities, resulting in a higher level of order interaction at the open. Thus, NASDAQ believes that the change will remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market.
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, as amended. NASDAQ believes that the proposed rule change will result in a greater number of orders being entered prior to commencement of trading of IPO securities, resulting in a higher level of order interaction at the open. NASDAQ believes that this change will enhance competition by increasing its attractiveness as a venue for trading IPO securities.
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
The proposed rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 
and paragraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder,
in that the proposed rule change: (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) does not become operative for 30 days after the date of the filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest; provided the self-regulatory organization has given 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.
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. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule 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:
- 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 No. SR-NASDAQ-2012-038. This file number should be included on the subject line if email 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 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-2012-038 and should be submitted on or before April 19, 2012.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2012-7526 Filed 3-28-12; 8:45 am]
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