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June 22, 2016.
Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),
and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,
notice is hereby given that on June 10, 2016, NASDAQ 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 the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange proposes to extend for another twelve (12) month time period the pilot program to eliminate position limits for options on the SPDR® S&P 500® exchange-traded fund (“SPY ETF” or “SPY”),
which list and trade under the symbol SPY (“SPY Pilot Program”).
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
The purpose of the proposed rule change is to amend the Rule 1001 (Position Limits) to extend the current pilot which expires on July 12, 2016 for an additional twelve (12) month time period to July 12, 2017 (“Extended Pilot”). This filing does not propose any substantive changes to the SPY Pilot Program. In proposing to extend the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange reaffirms its consideration of several factors that supported the original proposal of the SPY Pilot Program, including (1) the availability of economically equivalent products and their respective position limits; (2) the liquidity of the option and the underlying security; (3) the market capitalization of the underlying security and the related index; (4) the reporting of large positions and requirements surrounding margin; and (5) the potential for market on close volatility.
With this proposal, the Exchange submits the SPY report to the Commission, which report reflects, during the time period from May 2015 through May 2016, the trading of standardized SPY options with no position limits consistent with option exchange provisions.
The report was prepared in the manner specified in the Exchange's prior rule filing extending the SPY Pilot Program.
The Exchange notes that it is unaware of any problems created by the SPY Pilot Program and does not foresee any as a result of the proposed extension. The proposed extension will allow the Exchange and the Commission additional time to further evaluate the pilot program and its effect on the market.
As with the original proposal to establish the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange represents that a SPY Pilot Report will be submitted at least thirty (30) days before the end of the Extended Pilot and would analyze that period. The Pilot Report will detail the size and different types of strategies employed with respect to positions established as a result of the elimination of position limits in SPY. In addition, the report will note whether any problems resulted due to the no limit approach and any other information that may be useful in evaluating the effectiveness of the Extended Pilot. The Pilot Report will compare the impact of the SPY Pilot Program, if any, on the volumes of SPY options and the volatility in the price of the underlying SPY shares, particularly at expiration during the Extended Pilot. In preparing the report the Exchange will utilize various data elements such as volume and open interest. In addition the Exchange will make available to Commission staff data elements relating to the effectiveness of the SPY Pilot Program. Conditional on the findings in the SPY Pilot Report, the Exchange will file with the Commission a proposal to extend the pilot program, adopt the pilot program on a permanent basis or terminate the pilot. If the SPY Pilot Program is not extended or adopted on a permanent basis by the expiration of the Extended Pilot, the position limits for SPY options would revert to limits in effect prior to the commencement of the SPY Pilot Program.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 
in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 
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, 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 Exchange believes that the proposed rule change would be beneficial to market participants, including market makers, institutional investors and retail investors, by permitting them to establish greater positions when pursuing their investment goals and needs. The Exchange also believes that economically equivalent products should be treated in an equivalent manner so as to avoid regulatory arbitrage, especially with respect to position limits. Treating SPY and SPX options differently by virtue of imposing different position limits is inconsistent with the notion of promoting just and equitable principles of trade and removing impediments to perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market. At the same time, the Exchange believes that the elimination of position limits for SPY options would not increase market volatility or facilitate the ability to manipulate the market.Start Printed Page 42009
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The proposed rule change does not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. In this regard, the Exchange notes that the rule change is being proposed as a competitive response to similar filings that the Exchange expects to be filed by other options exchanges. The Exchange believes this proposed rule change is necessary to permit fair competition among the options exchanges and to establish uniform position limits for a multiply listed options class.
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)(iii) of the Act 
and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.
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:
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2016-68. 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 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 Number SR-Phlx-2016-68, and should be submitted on or before July 19, 2016.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Brent J. Fields,
[FR Doc. 2016-15174 Filed 6-27-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P