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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend Pilot Program Through January 18, 2017

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Start Preamble July 12, 2016.

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 July 12, 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 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 Exchange Rule 1080(n), Price Improvement XL (“PIXL[SM] ”), to extend, through January 18, 2017, a pilot program (the “pilot”) concerning (i) the early conclusion of the PIXL Auction (as described below), and (ii) permitting orders of fewer than 50 contracts into the PIXL Auction. The current pilot is scheduled to expire July 18, 2016.[3]

The text of the proposed rule change is set forth below. Proposed new text is italicized. Deleted text is [bracketed].

* * * * *

NASDAQ PHLX LLC Rules

Options Rules

Rule 1080. Phlx XL and Phlx XL II

(a)-(m) No change.

(n) Price Improvement XL (“PIXL”)

A member may electronically submit for execution an order it represents as agent on behalf of a public customer, broker-dealer, or any other entity (“PIXL Order”) against principal interest or against any other order (except as provided in sub-paragraph (n)(i)(F) below) it represents as agent (an “Initiating Order”) provided it submits the PIXL Order for electronic execution into the PIXL Auction (“Auction”) pursuant to this Rule. The contract size specified in Rule 1080(n) as applicable to PIXL Orders shall apply to Mini Options.

(i) Auction Eligibility Requirements. All options traded on the Exchange are eligible for PIXL. A member (the “Initiating Member”) may initiate an Auction provided all of the following are met:

(A) No change.

(B) No change.

(C) If the PIXL Order is a Complex Order and of a conforming ratio, as defined in Commentary .08(a)(i) and (a)(ix) to Rule 1080, the Initiating Member must stop the entire PIXL order at a price that is better than the best net price (debit or credit) (i) available on the Complex Order book regardless of the Complex Order book size; and (ii) achievable from the best Phlx bids and offers for the individual options (an “improved net price”), provided in either case that such price is equal to or better than the PIXL Order's limit price. Complex Orders consisting of a ratio other than a conforming ratio will not be accepted. This sub-paragraph (C) shall apply to all Complex Orders submitted into PIXL. This sub-paragraph (C), where applied to Complex Orders where the smallest leg is less than 50 contracts in size, shall be effective for a pilot period scheduled to expire [July 18, 2016]January 18, 2017.Start Printed Page 46732

(D)-(G) No change.

(ii) Auction Process. Only one Auction may be conducted at a time in any given series or strategy. Once commenced, an Auction may not be cancelled and shall proceed as follows:

(A) No change.

(B) Conclusion of Auction. The PIXL Auction shall conclude at the earlier to occur of (1) through (4) below, with the PIXL Order executing pursuant to paragraph (C)(1) through (3) below.

(1)-(4) No change.

(5) Sub-paragraphs (B)(2), (B)(3) and (B)(4) above shall be effective for a pilot period scheduled to expire [July 18, 2016]January 18, 2017.

(C) No change.

(D) An unrelated market or marketable limit order (against the PBBO) on the opposite side of the market from the PIXL Order received during the Auction will not cause the Auction to end early and will execute against interest outside of the Auction. In the case of a Complex PIXL Auction, an unrelated market or marketable limit Complex Order on the opposite side of the market from the Complex PIXL Order as well as orders for the individual components of the Complex Order received during the Auction will not cause the Auction to end early and will execute against interest outside of the Auction. If contracts remain from such unrelated order at the time the Auction ends, they will be considered for participation in the order allocation process described in sub-paragraph (E) below. This sub-paragraph shall be effective for a pilot period scheduled to expire on [July 18, 2016]January 18, 2017.

(E)-(J) No change.

(iii)-(vi) No change.

(vii) Initially, and for at least a Pilot Period expiring on [July 18, 2016] January 18, 2017, there will be no minimum size requirement for orders to be eligible for the Auction. During this Pilot Period, the Exchange will submit certain data, periodically as required by the Commission, to provide supporting evidence that, among other things, there is meaningful competition for all size orders and that there is an active and liquid market functioning on the Exchange outside of the Auction mechanism. Any raw data which is submitted to the Commission will be provided on a confidential basis.

* * * * *

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 the proposed rule change is to extend the pilot through January 18, 2017.

Background

The Exchange adopted PIXL in October 2010 as a price-improvement mechanism on the Exchange.[4] PIXL is a component of the Exchange's fully automated options trading system, PHLX XL® that allows an Exchange member (an “Initiating Member”) to electronically submit for execution an order it represents as agent on behalf of a public customer, broker dealer, or any other entity (“PIXL Order”) against principal interest or against any other order it represents as agent (an “Initiating Order”) provided it submits the PIXL Order for electronic execution into the PIXL Auction (“Auction”) pursuant to the Rule.

An Initiating Member may initiate a PIXL Auction by submitting a PIXL Order, which is not a Complex Order, in one of three ways:

  • First, the Initiating Member could submit a PIXL Order specifying a single price at which it seeks to execute the PIXL Order (a “stop price”).
  • Second, an Initiating Member could submit a PIXL Order specifying that it is willing to automatically match as principal or as agent on behalf of an Initiating Order the price and size of all trading interest and responses to the PIXL Auction Notification (“PAN,” as described below) (“auto-match”), in which case the PIXL Order will be stopped at the better of the National Best Bid/Offer (“NBBO”) or the Reference BBO [5] on the Initiating Order side.
  • Third, an Initiating Member could submit a PIXL Order specifying that it is willing to either: (i) Stop the entire order at a single stop price and auto-match PAN responses, as described below, together with trading interest, at a price or prices that improve the stop price to a specified price above or below which the Initiating Member will not trade (a “Not Worse Than” or “NWT” price); (ii) stop the entire order at a single stop price and auto-match all PAN responses and trading interest at or better than the stop price; or (iii) stop the entire order at the better of the NBBO or Reference BBO on the Initiating Order side, and auto-match PAN responses and trading interest at a price or prices that improve the stop price up to the NWT price. In all cases, if the PHLX Best Bid/Offer (“PBBO”) on the same side of the market as the PIXL Order represents a limit order on the book, the stop price must be at least one minimum price improvement increment better than the booked limit order's limit price.

In addition, an Initiating Member may initiate a PIXL Auction by submitting a Complex Order which is of a conforming ratio, as defined in Commentary .08(a)(i) and (a)(ix) to Rule 1080. When submitting a Complex Order, the Initiating Member must stop the PIXL order at a price that is better than the best net price (debit or credit) (i) available on the Complex Order book regardless of the Complex Order book size; and (ii) achievable from the best PHLX bids and offers for the individual options (an “improved net price”), provided in either case that such price is equal to or better than the PIXL Order's limit price.

After the PIXL Order is entered, a PAN is broadcast and a blind Auction ensues for a period of time as determined by the Exchange and announced on the Nasdaq Trader Web site. The Auction period will be no less than one hundred milliseconds and no more than one second. Anyone may respond to the PAN by sending orders or quotes. At the conclusion of the Start Printed Page 46733Auction, the PIXL Order will be allocated at the best price(s).

Once the Initiating Member has submitted a PIXL Order for processing, such PIXL Order may not be modified or cancelled. Under any of the above circumstances, the Initiating Member's stop price or NWT price may be improved to the benefit of the PIXL Order during the Auction, but may not be cancelled. Under no circumstances will the Initiating Member receive an allocation percentage, at the final price point, of more than 50% with one competing quote, order or PAN response or 40% with multiple competing quotes, orders or PAN responses, when competing quotes, orders or PAN responses have contracts available for execution.

After a PIXL Order has been submitted, a member organization submitting the order has no ability to control the timing of the execution. The execution is carried out by the Exchange's PHLX XL automated options trading system and pricing is determined solely by the other orders and quotes that are present in the Auction.

The Pilot

Three components of the PIXL system were approved by the Commission on a pilot basis: (1) Paragraphs (n)(i)(A), (n)(i)(B), and (n)(i)(C) of Rule 1080, relating to auction eligibility requirements; (2) paragraphs (n)(ii)(B)(5) and (n)(ii)(D) of Rule 1080, relating to the early conclusion of the PIXL Auction; and (3) paragraph (n)(vii) of Rule 1080, stating that there shall be no minimum size requirement of orders entered into PIXL. The pilot was extended until July 18, 2016.[6] The Exchange notes that during the pilot period it has been required to submit, and has been submitting, certain data periodically as required by the Commission, to provide supporting evidence that, among other things, there is meaningful competition for all size orders and that there is an active and liquid market functioning on the Exchange outside of the Auction mechanism.[7] Further, the Exchange provided certain additional data requested by the Commission regarding trading in the PIXL Auction for the six (6) month period from January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. The Exchange represented that it would make publicly available a summary of the data provided to the Commission. The Exchange continues to believe that there remains meaningful competition for all size orders and that there is an active and liquid market functioning on the Exchange outside of the PIXL Auction and that there is significant price improvement for orders entered into the PIXL Auction. The Exchange believes the additional data will substantiate the Exchange's belief and provide further evidence in support of permanent approval of the PIXL Pilot.

The Exchange proposes to extend the pilot through January 18, 2017. The Exchange believes that the proposed extension should afford the Commission additional time to evaluate the pilot.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,[8] in general, and with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[9] in that it is designed 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; and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers, or to regulate by virtue of any authority conferred by the Act matters not related to the purposes of the Act or the administration of the Exchange.

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is also consistent with Section 6(b)(8) of the Act [10] in that it does not impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

Specifically, the Exchange believes that PIXL, including the rules to which the pilot applies, results in increased liquidity available at improved prices, with competitive final pricing out of the Initiating Member's complete control. The Exchange believes that PIXL promotes and fosters competition and affords the opportunity for price improvement to more options contracts. The extension proposal allows additional time for the Commission to evaluate the pilot.

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. The proposal extends existing pilots that apply to all Exchange members, and enables the Exchange to be competitive in respect of other option exchanges that have similar programs.

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) of the Act [11] and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[12]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [13] normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),[14] the Commission may designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay. The Exchange noted that the pilot is scheduled to expire July 18, 2016. According to the Exchange, a waiver of the operative delay will allow uninterrupted application of the PIXL pilot and thereby ensure fair competition with other exchanges that have similar programs.

The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, as it will allow the PIXL pilot to continue uninterrupted, thereby avoiding any potential investor confusion that could result from a temporary interruption in the pilot. Therefore, the Commission Start Printed Page 46734designates the proposed rule change to be operative on July 18, 2016.[15]

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:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • 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-2016-75. 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 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-2016-75 and should be submitted on or before August 8, 2016.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[16]

Robert W. Errett,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  The extension of the pilot relates to several subparagraphs of Rule 1080(n) in respect of PIXL and Complex Order PIXL, as discussed below.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 63027 (October 1, 2010), 75 FR 62160 (October 7, 2010) (SR-Phlx-2010-108) (Order Granting Approval to a Proposed Rule Change Relating to a Proposed Price Improvement System, Price Improvement XL); 65043 (August 5, 2011), 76 FR 49824 (August 11, 2011) (SR-Phlx-2011-104) (Extending Pilot for Price Improvement System, Price Improvement XL); 67399 (July 11, 2012), 77 FR 42048 (July 17, 2012) (SR-Phlx-2012-94) (Extending Pilot for Price Improvement System, Price Improvement XL); 69845 (June 25, 2013), 78 FR 39429 (July 1, 2013) (SR-Phlx-2013-46) (Order Granting Approval To Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, Regarding Complex Order PIXL); 69989 (July 16, 2013), 78 FR 43950 (July 22, 2013) (SR-Phlx-2013-74) (Extending Pilot for Price Improvement System, Price Improvement XL); 72619 (July 16, 2014), 79 FR 42613 (July 22, 2014) (Extending Pilot for Price Improvement System, Price Improvement XL); and 75470 (July 16, 2015) 80 FR 43509 (July 22, 2015) (Amending Exchange Rule 1080(n), Price Improvement XL (“PIXLSM. ”) to Extend, Until July 18, 2016, a Pilot Program).

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5.  The “Reference BBO” is defined as the “internal market BBO”.

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6.  See supra note 4.

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7.  See Exchange Rule 1080(n)(vii).

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12.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 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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14.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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15.  For purposes only of waiving the operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 2016-16859 Filed 7-15-16; 8:45 am]

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