February 19, 2015.
On December 24, 2014, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”), on behalf of the following parties to the National Market System Plan: BATS Exchange, Inc., BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., NASDAQ OMX Start Printed Page 10170BX, Inc., NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, National Stock Exchange, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE MKT LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc. (collectively with FINRA, the “Participants”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) pursuant to Section 11A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 
and Rule 608 thereunder,
a proposal to amend the Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility (“Plan”).
The proposal represents the eighth amendment to the Plan (“Eighth Amendment”), and reflects proposed changes unanimously approved by the Participants. The Eighth Amendment was published for comment in the Federal Register on January 27, 2015.
The Commission has received no comment letters regarding the Eighth Amendment. This order approves the Eighth Amendment to the Plan.
II. Description of the Proposal
A. Eighth Amendment to the Plan
The Eighth Amendment includes two proposed changes to the Plan. First, the Participants propose to amend the Plan to establish a requirement for the Participants to submit a Supplemental Joint Assessment to the Commission by May 29, 2015. Second, the Participants propose to extend the end date of the pilot period of the Plan from February 20, 2015 to October 23, 2015.
B. Background and Purpose of the Plan
The Plan, approved by the Commission in March 2012,
establishes a market-wide limit up-limit down mechanism that is intended to address extraordinary market volatility in “NMS Stocks,” as defined in Rule 600(b)(47) of Regulation NMS under the Act.
The Plan sets forth limit up-limit down requirements designed to prevent trades from occurring outside specified Price Bands.
These limit up-limit down requirements are coupled with Trading Pauses, as defined in the Plan, to accommodate more fundamental price moves (as opposed to erroneous trades or momentary gaps in liquidity). The limit up-limit down mechanism is intended to reduce the negative impacts of sudden, unanticipated price movements in NMS Stocks, such as those experienced on May 6, 2010, thereby protecting investors and promoting a fair and orderly market. The initial date of Plan operations was April 8, 2013.
III. Discussion and Commission Findings
After careful review, the Commission finds that the Eighth Amendment is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder.
Specifically, the Commission finds that the Eighth Amendment is consistent with Section 11A of the Act 
and Rule 608 thereunder 
in that it is appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors and the maintenance of fair and orderly markets, and that it removes impediments to, and perfects the mechanism of, a national market system.
The Supplemental Joint Assessment will evaluate the impact of the Plan using the measures set forth in Appendix B of the Plan 
and provide the Commission with an extensive cross-market data analysis using methodology agreed upon by the Participants.
The Participants stated that they intend to engage a third-party consultant to assist in conducting the cross-market analysis and preparing the Supplemental Joint Assessment.
The Participants believe that the Supplemental Joint Assessment will facilitate the development of unified recommendations, if and where appropriate, regarding operation of the Plan.
The Participants also state that they intend to make the Supplemental Joint Assessment publicly available.
The Participants further believe that extending the end date of the pilot period will: (i) Provide the Participants with time to use the information collected during the operation of the Plan to perform further analysis and recommend further amendments to the Plan, as necessary; (ii) provide a reasonable period of time for the public to comment on the Supplemental Joint Assessment and recommendations; and (iii) allow the Commission and the public adequate time to review the Supplemental Joint Assessment and any recommendations provided by the Participants, and to determine if any modifications to the Plan are appropriate.
The Commission believes that the Supplemental Joint Assessment and any resulting recommendations for modifications to the Plan from the Participants, along with any public comment in response thereto, will assist the Commission in assessing the operation of the Plan and in considering any future determinations regarding the Plan.
For the reasons noted above, the Commission finds that the Eighth Amendment to the Plan is consistent with Section 11A of the Act 
and Rule 608 thereunder.
The Commission reiterates its expectation that the Participants will continue to monitor the scope and operation of the Plan and study the data produced, and will propose any modifications to the Plan that may be necessary or appropriate.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 11A of the Act 
and Rule 608 thereunder,
that the Eighth Start Printed Page 10171Amendment to the Plan (File No. 4-631) be, and it hereby is, approved.
Brent J. Fields,
[FR Doc. 2015-03875 Filed 2-24-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P