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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 1000 and Commentary .11 to Rule 1012

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Start Preamble December 19, 2017.

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 December 6, 2017, 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 Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to expand the Short Term Option Series Program to allow Monday expirations for options listed pursuant to the Short Term Option Series Program, including options on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust.

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at http://nasdaqphlx.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.Start Printed Page 61048

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The Exchange proposes to amend Phlx Rules 1000(b)(44) and Rule 1012 at Commentary .11 to expand the Short Term Option Series Program (“Program”) to permit the listing and trading of options series with Monday expirations that are listed pursuant to the Program, including options on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (“SPY”).

As set forth in Rule 1044(b)(44), a Short Term Option Series is a series in an option class that is approved for listing and trading on the Exchange in which the series is opened for trading on any Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday that is a business day and that expires on the Wednesday or Friday of the next business week. The Exchange is now proposing to amend Rule 1000(b)(44) to permit the listing of options series that expire on Mondays. Specifically, the Exchange is proposing that it may open for trading series of options on any Monday that is a business day and that expires on the Monday of the next business week. The Exchange is also proposing to list Monday expirations series on Fridays that precede the expiration Monday by one business week plus one business day. Since Rule 1000(b)(44) already provides for the listing of short term option series on Fridays, the Exchange is not modifying this provision to allow for Friday listing of Monday expiration series. However, the Exchange is amending Rule 1000(b)(44) to clarify that, in the case of a series that is listed on a Friday and expires on a Monday, that series must be listed one business week and one business day prior to that expiration (i.e., two Fridays prior to expiration).

As part of this proposal, the Exchange is also amending Rule 1000(b)(44) to address the expiration of Monday expiration series when the Monday is not a business day. In that case, the rule will provide that the series shall expire on the first business day immediately following that Monday. This procedure differs from the expiration date of Wednesday expiration series that are scheduled to expire on a holiday. In that case, the Wednesday expiration series shall expire on the first business day immediately prior to that Wednesday, e.g., Tuesday of that week.[3] However, the Exchange believes that it is preferable to require Monday expiration series in this scenario to expire on the Tuesday of that week rather than the previous business day, e.g., the previous Friday, since the Tuesday is closer in time to the scheduled expiration date of the series than the previous Friday, and therefore may be more representative of anticipated market conditions. The Exchange also notes that Cboe Exchange, Inc. (“Cboe”) uses the same procedure for options on the S&P 500 index (“SPX”) with Monday expirations that listed pursuant to its Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program and that are scheduled to expire on a holiday.[4]

The Exchange also proposes to make corresponding changes to Commentary .11 to Rule 1012, which sets forth the requirements for SPY options that are listed pursuant to the Short Term Options Series Program, to permit Monday SPY expirations (“Monday SPY Expirations”). Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to amend Commentary .11 to state that, with respect to Monday SPY Expirations, the Exchange may open for trading on any Friday or Monday that is a business day series of options on the SPY to expire on any Monday of the month that is a business day and is not a Monday in which Quarterly Options Series expire, provided that Monday SPY Expirations that are listed on a Friday must be listed at least one business week and one business day prior to the expiration. As with the current rules for Wednesday SPY Expirations, the Exchange will also amend Commentary .11 to state that it may list up to five consecutive Monday SPY Expirations at one time, and may have no more than a total of five Monday SPY Expirations (in addition to a maximum of five Short Term Option Series expirations for SPY expiring on Friday and five Wednesday SPY Expirations). The Exchange will also clarify that, as with Wednesday SPY Expirations, Monday SPY Expirations will be subject to the provisions of this Rule.

The interval between strike prices for the proposed Monday SPY Expirations will be the same as those for the current Short Term Option Series for Wednesday and Friday SPY Expirations. Specifically, the Monday SPY Expirations will have a $0.50 strike interval minimum. As is the case with other options series listed pursuant to the Short Term Option Series, the Monday SPY Expiration series will be P.M.-settled.

Currently, for each option class eligible for participation in the Program, the Exchange is limited to opening thirty (30) series for each expiration date for the specific class. The thirty (30) series restriction does not include series that are open by other securities exchanges under their respective short term option rules; the Exchange may list these additional series that are listed by other exchanges.[5] This thirty (30) series restriction shall apply to Monday SPY Expiration series as well. In addition, the Exchange will be able to list series that are listed by other exchanges, assuming they file similar rules with the Commission to list SPY options expiring on Mondays.

Finally, the Exchange is amending Commentary .11(b) to Rule 1012, which addresses the listing of Short Term Options Series that expire in the same week as monthly or quarterly options series. Currently, that rule states that no Short Term Option Series may expire in the same week in which monthly option series on the same class expire (with the exception of Wednesday SPY Expirations) or, in the case of Quarterly Options Series, on an expiration that coincides with an expiration of Quarterly Option Series on the same class. As with Wednesday SPY Expirations, the Exchange is proposing to permit Monday SPY Expirations to expire in the same week as monthly options series on the same class. The Exchange believes that it is reasonable to extend this exemption to Monday SPY Expirations because Monday SPY Expirations and standard monthly options will not expire on the same trading day, as standard monthly options expire on Fridays. Additionally, the Exchange believes that not listing Monday SPY Expirations for one week every month because there was a monthly SPY expiration on the Friday of that week would create investor confusion.

Relatedly, Phlx is also amending Commentary .11(b) to Rule 1012 to clarify that Monday and Wednesday SPY Expirations may expire in the same week as monthly option series in the same class expire, but that no Short Term Option Series may expire on the same day as an expiration of Quarterly Option Series on the same class. This change will make that provision more consistent with the existing language in Commentary .11 that prohibits Wednesday SPY Expirations from expiring on a Wednesday in which Quarterly Options Series expire.Start Printed Page 61049

The Exchange does not believe that any market disruptions will be encountered with the introduction of P.M.-settled Monday expirations. The Exchange has the necessary capacity and surveillance programs in place to support and properly monitor trading in the proposed Monday expiration series, including Monday SPY Expirations. The Exchange currently trades P.M.-settled Short Term Option Series that expire almost every Wednesday and Friday, which provide market participants a tool to hedge special events and to reduce the premium cost of buying protection. The Exchange notes that it has been listing Wednesday expirations pursuant to Rule 1000 and Rule 1012 since 2016.[6] With the exception of Monday expiration series that are scheduled to expire on a holiday, the Exchange does not believe that there are any material differences between Monday expirations and Wednesday or Friday expirations for Short Term Option Series.

The Exchange seeks to introduce Monday expirations to, among other things, expand hedging tools available to market participants and to continue the reduction of the premium cost of buying protection. The Exchange believes that Monday expirations, similar to Wednesday and Friday expirations, will allow market participants to purchase an option based on their timing as needed and allow them to tailor their investment and hedging needs more effectively.

While other exchanges do not currently list Monday SPY Expirations, the Exchange notes that other exchanges currently permit Monday expirations for other options. For example, Cboe lists options on the SPX with a Monday expiration as part of its Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program.[7]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[8] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[9] in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, 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.

In particular, the Exchange believes the Short Term Option Series Program has been successful to date and that Monday expirations, including Monday SPY Expirations, simply expand the ability of investors to hedge risk against market movements stemming from economic releases or market events that occur throughout the month in the same way that the Short Term Option Series Program has expanded the landscape of hedging. Similarly, the Exchange believes Monday expirations, including Monday SPY Expirations, should create greater trading and hedging opportunities and flexibility, and will provide customers with the ability to tailor their investment objectives more effectively. While other exchanges do not currently list Monday SPY Expirations, the Exchange notes that Cboe currently permits Monday expirations for other options with a weekly expiration, such as options on the SPX.

With the exception of Monday expiration series that are scheduled to expire on a holiday, the Exchange does not believe that there are any material differences between Monday expirations, including Monday SPY expirations, and Wednesday or Friday expirations, including Wednesday and Friday SPY Expirations, for Short Term Option Series. The Exchange notes that it has been listing Wednesday expirations pursuant to Rule 1000 and Rule 1012 since 2016. The Exchange believes that it is consistent with the Act to treat Monday expiration series that expire on a holiday differently than Wednesday or Friday expiration series, since the proposed treatment for Monday expiration series will result in an expiration date that is closer in time to the scheduled expiration date of the series, and therefore may be more representative of anticipated market conditions. The Exchange also notes that Cboe uses the same procedure for SPX options with Monday expirations that are listed pursuant to its Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program and that are scheduled to expire on a holiday.

Given the similarities between Monday SPY Expiration series and Wednesday and Friday SPY Expiration series, the Exchange believes that applying the provisions in Commentary .11 to Rule 1012 that currently apply to Wednesday SPY Expirations to Monday SPY Expirations is justified. For example, the Exchange believes that allowing Monday SPY Expirations and monthly SPY expirations in the same week will benefit investors and minimize investor confusion by providing Monday SPY Expirations in a continuous and uniform manner. The Exchange also believes that is appropriate to amend Commentary .11(b) to Rule 1012 to clarify that no Short Term Option Series may expire on the same day as an expiration of Quarterly Option Series on the same class. This change will make that provision more consistent with the existing language in Commentary .11 that prohibits Wednesday SPY Expirations from expiring on a Wednesday in which Quarterly Options Series expire.

Finally, the Exchange represents that it has an adequate surveillance program in place to detect manipulative trading in Monday expirations, including Monday SPY Expirations, in the same way that it monitors trading in the current Short Term Option Series. The Exchange also represents that it has the necessary systems capacity to support the new options series.

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 Exchange notes that having Monday expirations is not a novel proposal, as Cboe currently lists and trades short-term SPX options with a Monday expiration. The Exchange does not believe the proposal will impose any burden on intra-market competition, as all market participants will be treated in the same manner under this proposal. Additionally, the Exchange does not believe the proposal will impose any burden on inter-market competition, as nothing prevents the other options exchanges from proposing similar rules to list and trade short-term options series with Monday expirations.

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

Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, Start Printed Page 61050the Commission shall: (a) By order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or (b) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be 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 Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2017-103. 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 website (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 website 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-2017-103 and should be submitted on or before January 16, 2018. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[10]

Start Signature

Eduardo A. Aleman,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Phlx Rule 1000(b)(44).

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4.  See CBOE Rule 24.9(e)(1) (“If the Exchange is not open for business on a respective Monday, the normally Monday expiring Weekly Expirations will expire on the following business day. If the Exchange is not open for business on a respective Wednesday or Friday, the normally Wednesday or Friday expiring Weekly Expirations will expire on the previous business day.”)

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5.  See Phlx Rule 1012 at Commentary .11(a).

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 78693 (August 26, 2016), 81 FR 60074 (August 31, 2016) (SR-Phlx-2016-89).

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7.  See CBOE Rule 24.9(e)(1) (“The Exchange may open for trading Weekly Expirations on any broad-based index eligible for standard options trading to expire on any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (other than the third Friday-of-the-month or days that coincide with an EOM expiration.”).

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[FR Doc. 2017-27700 Filed 12-22-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P