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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Extension of the Exchange's Penny Pilot Program and Replacement of Penny Pilot Issues That Have Been Delisted

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 71484 November 25, 2014.

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 November 21, 2014, NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC (“Phlx” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “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

The Exchange is filing with the Commission a proposal to amend Phlx Rule 1034 (Minimum Increments) to extend through June 30, 2015, the Penny Pilot Program in options classes in certain issues (“Penny Pilot” or “Pilot”), and to change the date when delisted classes may be replaced in the Penny Pilot.[3]

The Exchange requests that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay period to the extent needed for timely industry-wide implementation of the proposal.

The text of the amended Exchange rule is set forth immediately below.

Proposed new language is in italics and proposed deleted language is [bracketed].

NASDAQ OMX PHLX Rules

Options Rules

* * * * *

Rule 1034. Minimum Increments

(a) Except as provided in sub-paragraphs (i)(B) and (iii) below, all options on stocks, index options, and Exchange Traded Fund Shares quoting in decimals at $3.00 or higher shall have a minimum increment of $.10, and all options on stocks and index options quoting in decimals under $3.00 shall have a minimum increment of $.05.

(i)(A) No Change.

(B) For a pilot period scheduled to expire [December 31, 2014]June 30, 2015 (the “pilot”), certain options shall be quoted and traded on the Exchange in minimum increments of $0.01 for all series in such options with a price of less than $3.00, and in minimum increments of $0.05 for all series in such options with a price of $3.00 or higher, except that options overlying the PowerShares QQQ Trust (“QQQQ”)®, SPDR S&P 500 Exchange Traded Funds (“SPY”), and iShares Russell 2000 Index Funds (“IWM”) shall be quoted and traded in minimum increments of $0.01 for all series regardless of the price. A list of such options shall be communicated to membership via an Options Trader Alert (“OTA”) posted on the Exchange's Web site.

The Exchange may replace any pilot issues that have been delisted with the next most actively traded multiply listed options classes that are not yet included in the pilot, based on trading activity in the previous six months. The replacement issues may be added to the pilot on the second trading day following [July 1, 2014]January 1, 2015.

* * * * *

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaqomxphlx.cchwallstreet.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, 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 Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The purpose of this filing is to amend Phlx Rule 1034 to extend the Penny Pilot through June 30, 2015, and to change the date when delisted classes may be replaced in the Penny Pilot. The Exchange believes that extending the Penny Pilot will allow for further analysis of the Penny Pilot and a determination of how the program should be structured in the future.

Under the Penny Pilot, the minimum price variation for all participating options classes, except for the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock (“QQQQ”), the SPDR S&P 500 Exchange Traded Fund (“SPY”) and the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (“IWM”), is $0.01 for all quotations in options series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for all quotations in options series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater. QQQQ, SPY and IWM are quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series. The Penny Pilot is currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2014.

The Exchange proposes to extend the time period of the Penny Pilot through June 30, 2015, and to provide revised dates for adding replacement issues to the Penny Pilot. The Exchange proposes that any Penny Pilot Program issues that have been delisted may be replaced on the second trading day following January 1, 2015. The replacement issues will be selected based on trading activity in the previous six months.[4]

This filing does not propose any substantive changes to the Penny Pilot Program; all classes currently participating in the Penny Pilot will remain the same and all minimum increments will remain unchanged. The Exchange believes the benefits to public customers and other market participants who will be able to express their true prices to buy and sell options have been demonstrated to outweigh the potential increase in quote traffic.Start Printed Page 71485

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [5] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [6] in particular, in that it 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 facilitating transactions in securities, and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system.

In particular, the proposed rule change, which extends the Penny Pilot for an additional six months through June 30, 2015, and changes the date for replacing Penny Pilot issues that were delisted to the second trading day following January 1, 2015, will enable public customers and other market participants to express their true prices to buy and sell options for the benefit of all market participants. This is consistent with the Act.

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 not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. To the contrary, this proposal is pro-competitive because it allows Penny Pilot issues to continue trading on the Exchange. Moreover, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will allow for further analysis of the Pilot and a determination of how the Pilot should be structured in the future; and will serve to promote regulatory clarity and consistency, thereby reducing burdens on the marketplace and facilitating investor protection. The Pilot is an industry wide initiative supported by all other option exchanges. The Exchange believes that extending the Pilot will allow for continued competition between market participants on the Exchange trading similar products as their counterparts on other exchanges, while at the same time allowing the Exchange to continue to compete for order flow with other exchanges in option issues trading as part of the Pilot.

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

No written comments were either solicited or received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Because the foregoing 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 for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) [7] of the Act and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[8]

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: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) 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:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-9303.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2014-77. 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of Phlx. 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-Phlx-2014-77 and should be submitted on or before December 23, 2014.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[9]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  The Penny Pilot was established in January 2007 and was last extended in 2014. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 55153 (January 23, 2007), 72 FR 4553 (January 31, 2007) (SR-Phlx-2006-74) (notice of filing and approval order establishing Penny Pilot); and 72245 (May 23, 2014), 79 FR 33164 (May 30, 2014) (SR-Phlx-2014-37) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness extending the Penny Pilot through December 31, 2014).

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4.  The replacement issues will be announced to the Exchange's membership via an Options Trader Alert (OTA) posted on the Exchange's Web site. The Exchange proposes in its Penny Pilot rule that replacement issues will be selected based on trading activity in the previous six months. The replacement issues would be identified based on The Option Clearing Corporation's trading volume data from June 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014. The month immediately preceding the replacement issues' addition to the Pilot Program (i.e. December) would not be used for purposes of the six-month analysis.

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[FR Doc. 2014-28320 Filed 12-1-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P